15 June 2013
Sunday will come and go and I will miss father’s day as am off to London. So here is my tribute to my dad, don’t worry he is still alive and kicking at 80 years old.
My daddy used to carry me over seaweed at beach holidays as I was utterly petrified of the seething bubbly alien mass covered in blue bottles. It was basically moving and buzzing embedded in the sand and the thought of standing on dirty flies scared me to death, so he would lift me up all the way down to the water.
Then as I saw the roaring ocean, I would need the toilet and he would carry me all the way back up the beach to do a pee, as I cried behind a big stone, convinced a blue bottle would come near my bare bum.
He had three other older kids to tend to, but he had to devote this entire time to me, probably worried sick his other kids were drowning.
That’s my dad.
In the early 60s before anyone else had one, my daddy made me a skateboard. Yes, an actual skateboard with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. I managed to stand on it, roll down a hill crashed into a parked lorry and smashed my two front teeth into my upper lip.
We had no car in inner city Glasgow, so he ran all the way to the doctors with me in his arms, spewing blood and teeth. He worked in a steel factory, five days a week, so this must have been his day off.
My dad could repair television’s and radio’s and even built a whole stereo system way before it’s time and he taught me how to solder circuit boards.
One summer’s day as he lay in bed off the night shift, 30 kids in our street played rounder’s and a stray dog attacked me, biting into my flesh, my dad identified my scream from all the other kids. He leapt from his bed and ran with my bleeding hand to the doctors, I am sure you recognise a recurring theme here.
One winter night I was crossing the road to the church going to the Brownie’s for my road safety badge, and yes….you guessed it, I got knocked down with a car…..my dad arrived on the scene and promptly attacked the speeding driver and sat in an ambulance with both me and the man he beat up for hitting his daughter with a car. He kept slapping the driver, all the way to the hospital. That’s my dad.
My dad left my mum when I was 12 years old and every weekend he met me off the bus to give me money and share a supper. He reminded me how much he loved me and missed me.
The day my mother was found dead in the River Clyde my dad sat in my house and held me for hours as I sat in shock.
My dad walked the length of a hospital corridor the night I gave birth and cried out loud as the labour went onto for 48 hours or more. When he saw his granddaughter with her tufts of dark hair, he tenderly lifted her up and whispered “why did you take so long for me to hold you?”.
When my daughter was ten she went missing after going to the shops and we had to call the police. You can imagine the terror and shock this caused.
For four hours she was in a new friend’s garden in the West End of Glasgow oblivious to the trouble she had caused, and playing on a bike. My dad ran up and down the Byres Rd with a photo of Ashley, stopping everyone and asking them to look at the picture. The police didn’t find Ashley, my dad did. She walked out of a garden and into his arms, wondering why her granddad was running about with a photo of her. He bought her a bike.
My dad sat in a court in 1996 and watched me give evidence against a man who sexually abused me as a kid, he wept buckets throughout the whole ordeal. He stood outside the court room and waited for me as I walked out of the witness box and he apologised for not protecting me from this man who was his brother in law.
He told me he was so proud of me for standing up there and telling the truth and being brave. I assured him he didn’t need to apologise to me, that he was a great dad and I was proud of him.
The court officials all stood back as we both wept.
I hugged him tight and he whispered to me “want to leave here, go to the beach? Don’t worry I will carry you over the seaweed”
Happy Father’s Day Daddy.