Dad….. I Love You

‘A father holds his daughters hand for a short while, but he holds her heart forever’ – This is so true and now that I have a daughter of my own I can see the father daughter bond between her and my husband.

My father is unwell, he has battled Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years, in the last two weeks he has lost the abilty to move his arms or neck and is now losing the ability to speak.  It’s heart breaking. An awful, cruel disease. His mind is still fine and he is aware of what is happening to him.

My father hasn’t always been sick, he taught me to sail a boat, took me to the beach, played tennis and golf. Our trips to get lollies on Friday nights and morning teas on Saturday were lots of fun.  He is determined, a fighter and an incredibly brave man in the face of a debilitating disease. I always loved listening to Roxette, Johnny Farnham (he was still Johnny back then) in his car and he had a car phone. That’s right, as a six year old, this one fact instantly made him the coolest man around.  Any child who grew up in the 80’s knows that car phones were the best.  I used to watch him get ready for work and remember telling him ‘I can’t wait to shave my face everyday’…..a phrase I’m sure every father would just love to hear from their little girl.

I grew up, became a teenager an adult and now a mother. He is a wonderful Pa to my children and even though he can’t run around with them they love crawling around and playing with him.  I am so thankful that they have had these moments.

My mother has sacrificed so much to look after him. Even though they have had up and downs (as any relationship does), I truly know the meaning of  ‘in sickness and in health’.  The hardest part of having my father so sick is seeing someone I love suffer. I admire him. I struggle when Hudson asks ‘when will Pa get better?’ and ‘Why can’t doctors help him?’. I try to be strong but I’m not. I cry, I think too much and I just want to make it all better but I can’t.

Disease or disability is something that could strike anyone of us at anytime and does not discriminate. So many things go unsaid. Today’s world is so fast and there are so many distractions it’s easy to lose sight. People are important, memories are important. Say what you feel and make everyone feel special. Don’t sweat the small stuff, see your friends, tell people you care about you love them, make memories and have fun.  Don’t wait for the right moment as this moment may never come.

I love you dad. Always and forever, your daughter….. Rachelle xx

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