My Dad - Part One.

It was the 5th of May and we were getting ready for my Uncles wedding (well I was still in bed) when suddenly my sister bust through my door and said "she's gone" - it killed me when my sister cried, she looks like a little girl who does not know what has happened to her. 

Our #supercoolniece does the same look, I remember when she was teething as a baby and 
her chirpy manner was swapped for this look as we poured Bonjela into her tiny mouth. 

I started to think about this because #Babybernie has the same look when he cries; I had not seen this look since the day my sister bust in the room and said that.


A year and we had both surrendered a week of our lives to work on a holiday for special needs children in Lourdes, actually I am sure the children kept us in line more than us looking after them. Our Mum had come to Lourdes when she was young so it had always been a place of legend in our family. 
At the end of the week we had all drunk so much beer I don't think there was any left in France, what was left was something there between our Mum and us. 

Some weddings and a funeral 
We'd drunk a lot of beer; we had lost our mother to cancer and about 10 other health conditions in the same moment and my sister had got married without our Mum. I think we both grew up about a decade in that year.

To be honest I was shot to bits even before any of this happened. The doctors had told my mother that she had a year to live. My mum was very mellow about the whole thing, she had a massive Zen like peace with God, tea and Lourdes - I was a jabbering wreck and if she had made it past the six months she did I am quite sure I would have imploded.


Just when you thought is was all safe...
About 10 minutes after the Doctors told my Mum she was going to die my then girlfriend announced she was pregnant and I was going to be a Dad.
This is a big thing go home and tell your parents and they took it well. 
The whole family clipped me round the ear and then went into support overdrive
I could not look after myself let alone two other human beings so any help was welcome and they all knew it. 
There was a little bit of "what will the neighbours think?" But my mother’s friends Margret and Gill - two of the wisest loving people on this planet, soon ironed that out.


A few weeks later my then girlfriend's father decided we were not going to be parents and she got in her Dad's big shiny Jaguar and was driven to an abortion clinic. 
Luckily it was all done so fast he still had time to make it back to his local Conservative Club for a Gin and Tonic and their neighbours never knew a thing. (Phew!)

Meanwhile I crawled into the London Hospital Tavern on Whitechapel Road and did not come out for a long time.
Luckily V-festival was coming up so I could cook my brains none stop for three days with what ever anyone happened to feed me.

Really I am not sure what I would have done, should have done or could have done. I felt like I was 8 years old at the time and someone had asked me to perform open heart surgery on Nelson Mandela. It was all over whelming. 

Can't cry for me Argentina 
This week I was listening to an interview of someone who had lost their 35 year old husband and new born baby in the same time frame, she was talking about how she just could not cry - I knew exactly what she meant.
I can't even tell you here what it is like, but I knew exactly what she meant.

I was blown away at our wedding and when #Babybernie arrived but did not really cry - not because I am "so macho" - things have given me the feeling of crying but the actual production of tears is dry as a bone. 

Some more funerals
This year at my mates funereal I was holding his baby as he was put to rest, I was looking into Harley's eyes and he was dribbling on my clothes, we were having a moment. 
Well I was having a moment, I think he was having a wee. 
I was in some kind of mixture of awe and upset at the same time, probably total disbelief of the situation I was in. 
I still could not cry, nor I was not desperate to cry - to "prove my upset" - but this time I felt very connected to the people around me and everything was a million times more precious than it had seemed this time last year. 

The long walk to freedom
Time with people is vital, a privilege and accepting them for everything they don't do or do do is harder than you think. 
There are things I must finally learn to accept, example:
#supercoolwife worries about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE at THE SAME TIME. 
Of course because I am so very smart I 'help' her by saying things like, "don't worry" or "stop worrying" or "there is nothing to worry about" or "I really don't know what you worry about so much"...

Actually her worry is what contributes to her being one of the most conscientious and caring people to ever walk the planet. 
Over the years nearly all of her friends and family have taken me to one side at some point and recounted how she supported them at one of the most difficult times in their life, (and she has way more friends on facebook than me!)

Accepting people is a long walk and it is a walk you must be brave enough to take, most annoyingly you usually need to be the one to take the first step - even though no one ever shows you how to. 

To be continued..... 

Part Two is here