Dad, thank you (and I miss you)

This post is totally outside my comfort zone, so bear with me.

Dad, you’ve been battling Parkinson’s Disease for over 8 years now. It’s been a long and progressively harder 8 years, especially for mom who has been standing by you for the last 42.

It’s been hard for me too, and even though expressing my innermost thoughts and emotions has never been something that came easily to me, here goes…

Dad, I want to thank you for everything that you’ve done for me.

You’ve taught me to be proud, to rely on my strengths and intuition, to hold my head up high when things seem to be at their worst, and to live my life with integrity. Most of all, you’ve loved and supported me unconditionally in whatever I wanted to do.

We’ve had our ups and downs over the years but show me a father-son relationship that hasn’t. I didn’t always listen when you gave me advice (I definitely get my stubbornness from you) but I want you to know that your opinion has always been the one I weighed more heavily when making decisions. In hindsight, if I’d heeded your advice more often (especially regarding business decisions), I could have saved myself some headaches but that’s another thing you taught me, learn from my mistakes and keep moving forward.

I know it’s selfish of me, but I miss the old you so much. To witness how this disease has slowly chipped away at your body and your mind, you, the proudest, the smartest, the most hard working and amazing man I have ever known, has been tough. Watching you confined to a wheel chair and bed, trying to communicate with us with extreme difficulty, needing assistance with the most basic activities such as eating or bathing and worst of all not recognising us on occasion, is heartbreaking.

Now that I’m a father, your struggle puts things into perspective. I just hope that I can become 1/2 the man you are, because that will mean that I’ll be a father that your two grand daughters will be proud of, I’ll be a loving partner my wife can rely on and when everything is said and done, I’ll be able to look back and be proud of what I’ve achieved throughout my life.

I’ve never said any of this before and I wish I’d said it when you were at least able to understand exactly what I’m trying to say now.

Thank you for your tireless support. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for all the great values you instilled in me. Thank you for working so hard to take care of us for so many years.

Now it’s time for you to rest; it’s our turn to take care of you; it’s our turn to give you our unconditional support, although we could never match what you’ve done for us.

Happy Father’s day.

This jam is especially for you: