Me and my dad – many moons ago!
It’s been a few weeks since publishing here and I wanted to dedicate today’s post to my lovely dad who passed away on April 2nd.
I flew home to the UK and have been there for the past couple of weeks with family and friends saying a heartfelt goodbye to my dad. My dad was one of five and my mum is one of four, and I am the eldest of all the cousins. It was so lovely to see everyone together, but such a shame it wasn’t under happier circumstances.
I have really missed my blog community during this time, not being up to posting and not being able to visit you all as often as I’m used to. I also kicked off the Spring session of “Big Dreams, Small Wonders” last week so have been dedicating my time there also.
I want to say thank you for your continuous support and messages that I have received during this time and even though I am working through this still, I am ready to be back in my creative life.
Me helping my dad bring the beers in
(yes the proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it!)
I have lots of happy memories of my dad and he was also a keen photographer so going through his enormous collection of all the family photos with my mum and brother when I was back was upsetting, but also very comforting. We cried and laughed for many hours. Thanks to my brother for spending countless hours scanning all the photos into the computer.
Dad at school – photo is hand colored by my grandad.
My dad was a conscientious student – and these values were passed down to me and my brother to simply just do our best at school – we were always encouraged to focus, but never pressured to be grade A students. This then evolved into demonstrating a strong work ethic, as well as respect and kindness to others in both our professional and personal lives.
My dad was a keen footballer and cricketer – Often in the captains role, enforcing team spirit and team work. He showed us how we were part of the bigger picture and the community – my dad always took an interest in other people.
My dad was always up for fun and a laugh!
Dad in the stocks on a family holiday!
My dad taught me to be loyal, stand by my promises and values, work hard, be kind and have a positive attitude no matter what was going on in my life. At the funeral, it was amazing to hear so many accounts of people saying how lovely my dad was, how he never thought or said a bad word about anyone he met. Most of all, that in the past 10 years since he had the tragic accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down, he never complained, let anyone feel sorry for him or feel sorry for himself. He inspired so many people to live their lives differently and more fully.
My dad had a great sense of humor. He was also happy to make a fool of himself at costume parties and for school fairs (we loved the dressing up box as kids)
He constantly told me how proud he was of me and my brother. That even though I was far away, living in another country, he was so happy that I was following my dreams, my passions and making a difference. Both my mum and dad taught me to “go against the grain” and it was their unfailing love and support that kept me going to constantly believe in myself.
He taught us to be adventurous.
Scaring my brother and I rocking the boat!
My last conversation with dad was at the end of March when I had my artwork published. Hearing his happy voice, and his love and pride for what I was doing, makes me stronger to power on through these feelings of loss and live my life more fully.
All dressed up, out in his wheelchair. He spent the first few years after his accident being independent and not letting his injuries or the fact he was wheelchair bound restrict him from living his life.
Most of all, his love for mum, family and no matter what – the importance of celebrating even through the tough times.
Mum and Dad Celebrating.
They were married on April 1st so they also celebrated the day before he passed away. It’s so comforting to know his last day on this earth was spent celebrating.
Thank you dad for giving me life, love and encouraging me to live a life I love, no matter what people say or how they react. Thank you for being courageous and showing us courage. You will be desperately missed.
Each life really does touch so many lives – we are all connected. This was demonstrated last Wednesday when we celebrated his life in the UK. Below is one of the poems read out and through our sorrow, it was so heartfelt to see many friends and family packing out the chapel. The crowd that came to say their last farewell showed me just how much one man can be loved and make such a difference.
Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away.
So sorry to hear about your Dad. But it's so wonderful to see that you have many happy memories with him. May he live in your heart forever.
Thinking of you Louise. Your dad will always be there, right by your side.
I love reading this beautiful tribue to your dad, as I adore my dad, too. I am so sorry for your loss.
This is such a nice tribute to your dad. It sounds like he will be remembered fondly by so many, Louise. I'm so sorry for your loss. XX
I've been thinking about you ever since the post about needing to see your dad. I'm so glad you were able to celebrate his life with the rest of your family. Your post made me gasp out loud when I saw that it was a tribute to him. All the photos and your memories of him were so touching to see and read. What a wonderful man and what a wonderful life you have as a result of all you learned from him. Much love to you. xoxoxoxox
Louise, sounds like your Dad gave you a lovely life and many fond memories. You honer him with this post. You are in our prayers, Cindy Dubbers
A beautiful tribute Louise. He sounds like an amazing man and a great inspiration in your life. Sending you lots of love and hugs across the ocean my friend.
Thank you for sharing your father with us Louise. His life and his love for his family is an inspiration. I loved how he taught you to try your hardest without focusing on grades. It is a great reminder to me as I raise my children. As I work with my own kids on school work I will think of this, and I will think of you and your father. Thank you for the lesson and inspiration.
My heart goes out to you and your family.
(your dad rocked those 1970s shorts!)
Louise, what a beautiful post. A tribute to a wonderful man who so clearly loved people and life – and passed this on to you to live his legacy.
The pictures are just fantastic – I could tell that little girl is you from a mile away, and your dad's flares are just amazing. I love it that you have chosen to celebrate his life this way.
Sending much love to you and your family
I am so very sorry for you loss. This post brought the tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to him. Happy memories and great qualities he instilled in you. My heart and thoughts go out to you during this difficult time. Big hugs!
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. I love your photo tribute to your father…what a wonderful man!
Louise, that is such a wonderful tribute to your dad. He sounds inspirational and very special. Thank you for sharing the photos and memories and I hope they give you much comfort at this sad time. My thoughts are with you.
thank you so much for sharing this, louise. it's so lovely to celebrate all of the wonderful things your dad gave to the world. and now i'm feeling like i have to go and give everyone i know a hug too.
my heart goes out to you and your family. xoxo juliette
Sounds like a really special man.
Sending lots of love to your and your family.
Well done Louise.
A Lovely post.
I laughed and I cried.
Dad really was a Legend.
I'm very sorry for your loss, Louise. Your Dad was really special and I'm sure you will keep him in your heart for always. Hugs, Jozica
What a beautiful and heartfelt post about a wonderful father. Sending you lots of love and kisses, Louise. My man just lost his mom and he is filled with love and loss at the same time. I hope your beautiful memories of your father comfort and guide you 🙂
This is such a lovely written tribute to your dad Louise
What an amazing force of support and guidance your father was for you Louise! This is a wonderful sharing of his life and his accomplishments you've given us to read and reflect on.
It's clear that he lives on in the way that YOU live your life today =-)
What a beautiful tribute Louise. It looks and sounds like your dad lived life fully and with so much passion. It is so beautiful to look back at these pictures and feel his happiness and JOY. I am so grateful to the powers that be that you were able to be there with your family. I'm holding you close to my heart dear friend. I'm sending you rays of light and gentle winds as you continue to heal. We all support you during this time. Much LOVE to you. xox
a beautiful tribute… i wish i could have had the privilege to know him – but i'm sure there is much of him in YOU, whom i know and love. wishing you comfort in this time of loss….. xoxo
Thinking of you Louise~ I know how very hard it is to lose a parent. Life is never the same. He looks like he was such an amazing person.
Sending you a big hug~
Louise, I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. Your tribute is beautiful and your memories of him will stay in your heart forever.
Thinking of you.
Louise, what a beautiful beautiful tribute. Brought tears to my eyes. You have been blessed with such a great dad. Sending love across the ocean. xx
Louise, I was so sorry to read about the passing of your dad. You have given him a wonderful tribute here and he sounds like he was a wonderful man. My thoughts are with you.
Louise, I am so so sorry to hear about your Dad, i have been thinking of you over the past few weeks. That was a beautiful and loving post dedicated to him, thank you for sharing that. x Silvia
Oh, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your dad. You are so blessed to have so many wonderful memories of him; I know that he'll live on in your heart. Sending prayers and love your way as you mourn this loss. xoxo
So very sorry to hear of your dad's passing. What a wonderful man though, your beautiful post here celebrates his life and what a wonderful inspiring person he was to you and so many others. The quote says it all. Sending love and gentle thoughts to you dear Louise,
with warmest wishes
What a storehouse full of treasured memories you have to fill your heart. Your Dad left a priceless legacy. May these treasures comfort your heart even in times of grieving.
dear Louise, I was wondering how and where you were as Concetta had said you were here (UK) with your dad. This is such a touching post and so beautifully and poetically written about your dad. My thoughts are with you and I hope you are okay. I know the creative life is just what one needs to help heal.
Hope your course is going well too.
Oh sweet Louise. So sorry for your loss. I love all the photos of your dad. I lost my dad 20 years ago, and I can tell you time heals the wounds. Sending you healing hugs.
Beautiful post and tribute to your dad! So sorry for your loss! I lost both and I know life without them is different but we can heal and live with their presence and as you wrote, all the values and lessons they taught us!
Ahhh Louise this is so beautiful. Your Dad seems like he taught you alot about the world. May you carry on his legacy. Send you a great big HUG.
what a beautiful tribute to your dad. he was such a handsome man and such a fun spirit. my parents were married on april 1st as well and my dad passed when i was just out of high school. it is a blessing that you were able to enjoy his life as an adult and really appreciate the great man he was.