Saturday, 26 April 2014

It REALLY sucks that my dad died

It REALLY sucks that my dad died
26 April 2014

I mean, seriously!!!  What a chop!  Who smokes three packets of Gauloises Plains a day, and then doesn’t keel over from a tumour in the lung? 

Without a doubt, those bloody cigarettes, were surely at the crime scene.  Plain as day.  But were they the only cause?

My dad lived a life of exuberance and joyful excess.  He was loud, enthusiastic, the life and soul of a party.  Basically a really big kid.  He enjoyed his food.  He lived for music.  Was passionate about his art.  Given the fact that he was a musician, he had a thriving, teeming, busy social life.  Him and my mom spending more time, at all of the hip and happening clubs and pubs in Cape Town and surrounds, than I did.  Everyone knew him.  Everyone bought him a drink.  People naturally gravitated to him.  He was extremely charismatic.  Was the absolute best at telling jokes.  A natural and gifted entertainer.

Perhaps he’d done his fair share of fun and excitement?  His time on earth was maybe over?

Even when I was little, I could never really picture him as an older person.  Or even as a real adult.  I couldn’t imagine him reaching his sixties or seventies.  Or shrinking in size, as elderly people so often do.  Couldn’t imagine his voice one day turning quivery and thready.  Of him finally deciding by choice to lead a quieter more sedate life.

It’s almost as if, he’d used his allotted time up.  That one is only allowed so much excitement and experience in your time on earth, and he went through his share rather quickly.  He squeezed a hell of a lot of life and living, into 46 short years.

But man, I really wish he was still here.  It truly sucks that he died.

I would’ve enjoyed seeing him enjoying my kids.  Laughing at their antics and showing grandfatherly pride in their every achievement.  He would have actively encouraged mischievous behaviour.  Indulged in it.  Most likely feeding them sweets and treats.  And his favourite – huge chunks of cheese.  He would have encouraged frivolity and embraced every aspect of their lives.  He would have delighted in their artistic and musical sides.  Been charmed by my Berry’s breath taking beauty.  Would’ve enjoyed Luke’s serious, logical, analytical side.  Been enamoured of Cole’s goofy, quirky, different ways.

I often see little bits of him, in them.  Luke is determined like him.  Exceptionally intelligent, logical, methodical.  And diligent too.  When he sets his mind to something, he will do it.  Stubborn as well.  And then there was the colour blind gene he passed on through me, that settled in Luke.  Which in turn will one day, be a “gift” to Luke’s grandsons.  Like me, Amber got his beautiful olive complexion.  His wonderful sense of humour.  That sparkle in her eye.  And Cole?  Well Cole got the sillies – the clown gene.  The thing that makes both of them want to be funny and entertain others.  That made my dad and Cole think differently.  See life in a unique way.

I wish I could still chat to him.  Ask him things I really want to know.  There’s bits of me, that only he knows.  Shared pieces of history, that we share.  Special moments that just the two of us had. 

Nobody has ever looked at me, with the same look, as the one he had in his eyes, whenever he saw me.  Part adoration, part pure love, part indulgent fatherly pride.  And though my mom most definitely loves me equally, if not more, than my dad did, the look that she and I have, is a different one.  Just as special.  Wonderfully so.  But it’s a different one.

And in hindsight I’m realising, that most likely, the look I gave him, was equally unique too.  One just reserved for him.

I am grateful that he was such a big presence.  That he made such an impact.  That he was so seminal to me.  That he loved me absolutely.

Fifteen years later, and the missing has still not stopped.  It really sucks that my dad died.

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The Frost-Five - many years ago, at my wedding. A very, very happy day. So glad my Dad was there.

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