Remembering my Dad: five years on

Five years ago today, when my father passed away I was at Thorpe Park with my friends. I didn’t have any clue that it had happened but after 11am I started to feel sick and couldn’t go on any more rides. My spirit and intuition told me that something was wrong but I didn’t know what it was. This is why you should always trust the gut instinct that tells you when something is happening be it good or bad.

Since then, so much has changed and I wish he was here to see all that my brother and I have achieved. We have been extremely fortunate to be working in the creative industries so young. My brother is a successful musician and that’s all thanks to my Dad for introducing him to a guitar and consistently going on at him to practice. And, I’m well on my way to taking over the world. Lol. I’m only joking but I’ve been so blessed in my early journalism career. That’s all thanks to my Dad for encouraging me to stay creative until I found the right fit for me. He’s a part of our success now too all from up above.

Something that always inspired me was my Dad’s relentless passion for the things that made him happy. These things included but are not limited to Crystal Palace FC, playing golf and drinking beer.

Dad was a truly unique character, he had the wildest sense of humour that would often land him in trouble. But he had that classy Irish charm that always seemed to redeem him. He always taught me that no matter how bad a situation is, there’s always an inappropriate joke you can tell. This is by far the richest inheritance that I gained from him.

He was a man of great faith and God always seemed to be on his side. My mum told me recently that in the late 1990s just after I was born we had a small, old run around car. It wasn’t quite to my dad’s standard and as he went past a car dealership in South London – he said to my mum that he wanted a specific car. Shortly after that, my Dad drove into that same car dealership and somehow persuaded the sales team to swap our old car for a Mercedes estate car. (It looks like all those hours of watching Only Fools and Horses paid off.) When you grow up around this, you have an unexplained confidence in taking leaps of faith. This is why I’m the queen of shooting my shot because at the end of the day – what have you got to lose?

After all these years, I still have our iMessage chat on my phone – I always look at it when I need reassurance. We all deal with grief in different ways, and this has been something invaluable in helping me cope.

On this date, every year I never want to mourn for my father, but just remember him. Mourning is about feeling regret and sadness and I don’t have those emotions attached to the memory of my Dad. I just think of him and smile. Of course, I wish he were here but the reality is that he’s not. If anything, the last five years has taught me that there’s no time to waste.

The time we have in this world is limited and what we do with it is our choice. My Dad chose to help people and I hope to do the same. He was always there when you needed him. He would always listen and he would always share his wisdom. He was a smart guy with a big heart who loved God and his family so much. I’ll always be grateful for the 17 years I was blessed with his presence.

Everything I do now is to make him proud. 💙💛

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