Father’s Day has been a bit weird since Dad died. I walk past the displays of Father’s Day merchandise each year and think I have no one to buy it for. I’m spoilt of course by my lovely daughters and for that I’m eternally grateful but it’s odd not to be giving as well as receiving.
This Father’s Day has been different as I was privileged to preach in my Dad’s church in Wisbech. It was a very moving experience and many people in that congregation too who knew my dad have given generously to VHL and followed my walk4andy.
After lunch with my stepmother and my dad’s brother and his wife we went to visit my dad’s grave in Newton where my dad’s dad is also buried as well as my dad’s dad’s dad and I think my dad’s dad’s dad’s dad!
It was boiling hot and so finding some shade was the number one priority but I was struck gazing at the gravestones by the passing of time and the knowledge that I am just one more dad in that whole sequence, a product of many fathers with all sorts of different approaches to fatherhood.
Largely because of the VHL, my dad wasn’t in a position to father me like I have my girls. Certainly after his first major op, he couldn’t take us out on trips or just muck about in the garden. I don’t blame him for that of course. He was still an inspiration in so many other ways and I knew he loved me. That, for me, is the most important gift a father can give – the knowledge that you are loved unconditionally…
I know he would have been very proud of me today standing in the pulpit at his own church, and I can even be pretty sure (since I’m told by my children I’ve inherited his terrible sense of humour!) that he at least would have chuckled at my joke about Jesus’ bowels being moved!!