All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Day 3: This One's For Dad

We celebrated my father’s 80th birthday on the 26th August and I would have loved to post a blog on the day, but not being able to access the internet at the time did have it’s limitations in this department.

What can I tell you about my dad? Knowing him, he’d probably deny any praise that I’d give him, because he is one of the most modest people I know. Maybe that’s the most appropriate adjective I can use.

Modesty.

Well, stuff that! We are talking about a highly gifted individual who draws beautifully, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of just about everything and has an innate kindness that he doesn’t like to admit to. He likes to portray himself as a tough nut, but this is just a Venetian mask. A few inches below the surface, he’s a total softie!

It took a while for me to appreciate him, not least because there is a world that separates us, 39 years of catching up to do. I guess I had to be that much older to realise what a special individual he is, but it was the worth the wait, to find out.

We were sitting in the car on the way to the Dover Docks on Sunday and I was telling Michal about how much my father has lived through in his life. It occurred to me as I was going through the list that he was only born ten years after the end of World War One. He’s lived through the depression, the Second World War, The creation of the State of Israel…..13 US presidents….etc etc etc.

That’s a lot of memory mileage. I doubt if any of us will ever witness such cataclysmic changes.

I know that I’m extraordinarily blessed to be able to share this milestone with him, as both his father and grandfather didn’t make it as far.

If you’re reading this, happy birthday Dad. I’m so proud and honoured to be your son. Be blessed with healthy, contentment and memory. Here’s to the next special birthday and beyond. 120 years is still a long way to go!

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