Today marks 3 years since you left our lives completely. You were travelling back from taking your girlfriend to work with your daughter in the back of the car when you were hit by a drunken, drugged up driver.
I remember that day so well. I was working that day, I woke up at 5.15am, well before my alarm, thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. I went through my day as normal, looking after my patients and generally having a laugh. At about 6.15pm I got a message on my phone from my cousin saying he urgently needed to ring me about my dad. I hadn’t spoken to my cousin since you left, so this was a bit out of the blue and you and I hadn’t spoken in a few months as we had fallen out over something stupid. I remember jokingly saying to my colleague ‘oh, what’s he done now?’, I didn’t want my cousin phoning me as I was at work so I told him to just message me. I was not expecting the response I got explaining that you had been in a car crash and your youngest daughter had died at 6.15am (European time, meaning when I woke at 5.15am UK time I had woken at the exact time that you died) .
I remember the numb feeling, the instant feeling of guilt as our last words to one another hadn’t been nice, the sadness that I would never see you again. I remember sitting in the staff room crying my eyes out, my boss coming in to comfort me, telling me to go home and walking me to the front door of the hospital. I remember walking out to the car, phoning mum and then Stuart to tell them. I drove straight to mums house, I could barely see through the tears. I remember sitting in the living room realising we were going to have to tell my dads other sister as she didn’t know. It really was the worst experience of my life.
The funeral all happened within a week of your death. We had to fly over to Germany as you were living there. We had no input into the funeral arrangements, we were never consulted about anything. Mum had told my aunt (who was liasing with the Germans arranging the funeral) you had wanted to be cremated, yet they decided you would be buried. The funeral was awful, not once did I feel it reflected you in one way. I felt the funeral reflected your girlfriend and her beliefs and culture, not you. My sister and I sat there the whole time in tears, we had very little idea as to what was going on as the funeral was mostly conducted in German.
It was horrible burying you, knowing that I couldn’t come and visit whenever I wanted, you were being left somewhere far away and I will rarely be able to go to see you. We went back to your home for the wake, it was weird walking into your house, a place I had never been before. All your stuff was about, your model cars, your parents old furniture that I had grown up knowing. On the dresser I spotted the Hamm pig toy (from Toy Story) I had given you when you had left, now I wish I had taken it home with me.
December 1st, the first day of advent, meaning Christmas is coming, it was a day I looked forward to. Now not so much. It’s harder now we have got married and had a baby. You never saw me on my wedding day, you will never meet your grandchildren. You will never meet your grandson, the boy you always wanted but never had. Oliver will never grow up knowing his grandpa, never being able to share your interest in cars or hear your stories.
I treasure the memories of you when I was growing up. I remember when you worked away and would come home after we had gone to bed, I used to try and stay up so I could sneak down and see you before I went to sleep. I remember the days we spent out in your truck, picking up and delivering all the supercars, I used to love spending the time out on the road with you. When you were home, I remember you teaching me how to Rollerblade and how we would go out skating together, then when I got a bit older we went out mountain biking together. I loved spending time with you.
I remember that Boxing Day when you told mum you were moving to Germany, I remember hearing you arguing downstairs whilst my sister and I sat upstairs crying and Stu was there to help soothe us. I remember the day you left, we took you to Heathrow, you promised you would call us and Skype us regularly. You called for the first couple of months every Sunday night, but the calls got less frequent over time and slowly become monthly, and then stopped. I remember when you messaged me to tell me your girlfriend was pregnant. It was about a month before she gave birth, then the email to say she had arrived about a month after the birth. I didn’t even get told about the second pregnancy or birth. I felt so pushed out, I felt like you were replacing us. We were so close before, yet you were more than happy to push us aside and forget about our family over time.
I just wish we hadn’t ended our relationship with a fight, with words we wish we had never said. If I could give up anything just for 5 more minutes, to tell you, no matter how much you let me down, no matter how much I didn’t like you for pushing us away, for not taking an interest in our lives, for generally being pretty damn selfish, I still loved you. You’re still my dad, you will always be my dad and you’ll never be replaced.
I love you and I miss you dad, rest in peace.