TODAY IT’S FATHERS’ DAY HERE IN THE UK…
This is the first Fathers’ Day for me, with no-one to send a card to. My lovely dad died earlier this year, on March 18th, he was 85. He developed a degenerative lung disorder called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Right up until he died, he was mentslly alert, bright, intelligent, funny, opinionated, and he very much loved his five children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
My dad had been in the Royal Air Force all his life – he joined at 18, and retired as a Wing Commander. He worked in the area of preventative medicine, hygiene and pest control. When abroad, his team used to go out and collect or dispose of, sometimes large and nasty insects – a hornet’s nest from our school playground, snakes in backyards etc. Once I remember coming home from school in Singapore and there was a real live scorpion in a plastic box on the dining room table – caught earlier that morning from a neighbour’s garden.
I remember visiting his office at work, and there were always jars of pickled creatures and exciting books and posters with photos of weird insects.
When I was young, our family followed him to various overseas postings, including Malta (where I was born), Singapore, Aden, and Cyprus, plus dozens of Air Force bases in the UK. I attended over a dozen schools and we never stayed anywhere more than two years. You can read a previous blog post about moving so many times here. It wasn’t until I was much older that I felt sorry for my mum, who never had a house of her own.
So I’ll be thinking about my Dad today. I’m not the sort of person who believes in angels, heaven, or departed loved ones looking down on us. I’ll just remember some of the good times we shared, and how much he enjoyed his life.