Today has been a busy one for The Husband and I, with visits to three different houses. On my side of the family, there are three men I like to celebrate on Father’s Day, and I thought I would write a few words about them.
An amazing man, whose main wish in life is to see those around him happy. Grandad is in his eighties, completely independent, incredibly intelligent, and the most fabulous fun.
My Gran and Grandad always lived near my mum and I, I stayed with them regularly, and we have always been close. Grandad was a builder (still is, only this week he was pointing our flagstones) and you would often find me in my swimming costume playing with a trowel and mortar. One time he asked me to help dig a hole, just so I could discover buried treasure he had planted earlier.
We are both night-owls, and often text each other goodnight at two and three in the morning. You can’t go anywhere without him bumping into someone he knows, and he has built half of the buildings in our area. He treated Gran like royalty, and they were married for over fifty years. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding last year, and I couldn't have asked for a better role model to start us on our journey together. Both him and my Gran doted on their family, and I continue to dote on him.
Dad and I share a love of cooking, and our sarcastic sense of humour. We compare soup recipes, and he gives me eggs from his chickens, part of his menagerie of animals.
When I was younger I wasn't as close to my Dad, even though I saw him regularly. He wasn't as affectionate and open as my Mum, and it took me until I was a little bit older to stop striving to impress him, and realise that he loves me and is proud of me, he just expresses it differently. We have definitely grown closer in recent years, and can happily chat away for hours when we meet up.
We text about football, my dad is a season-ticket holder and fervent supporter of his local team, and I used to go to matches with him when it was our weekends together. It was usually cold, and stadium seats are not the comfiest. But I always loved getting to choose which football shirt I wanted to wear, and spending the afternoon in matching colours, belonging to the same side.
Mal is my step-dad, and he and my mum live just round the corner from The Husband and I. Growing up, it was just Mum and I for many years, and we were, and still are, incredibly close, the best of friends. For anyone to join our perfect pair, and it feel anything other than a loss of the little world of two we inhabited, seemed unthinkable. However, Mal came along and, far from losing anything, I gained the most amazing step-dad and friend.
Knowing how content Mum and Mal are, gave me the freedom to be a teenager, a student, a girlfriend, and a wife, all the while knowing what a happy family I had to come back to. When we moved to this house, Mal and The Husband worked together decorating, building furniture, and more recently, making over our garden.
He is kind, generous, and a brilliant hugger. He will drop anything if I need him, whether it’s car problems, illness, or just a bad day, and always knows what to say. Mal made us into a family, but in such a sensitive way that he seemed to help preserve the closeness Mum and I shared, and when The Husband came along, the four of us seemed to be a perfect balance. We feel so lucky to have parents living nearby who we also count as friends.
However busy today might have been, I count myself blessed to have so many visits to make. I know that not everybody is this lucky, particularly when divorce and step-families are involved, and I will always be grateful and thankful for the wonderful men they are.