'I was only four when my father died, but he taught me so much'

"Many people have lost their father early in life and it is easy to feel somewhat sorry for having to deal with such a situation."

On Thursday night my two adult children took me out to dinner as our daughter lives in Bathurst and she will be there for Father’s Day with her husband’s side of the family. Two of our grandchildren were able to join us which made for a very enjoyable evening.

Having pre-celebrated my Father’s Day and it being on our minds, my wife asked this question only this morning:

“Do you remember anything about your father?”.

Whilst this subject had come up before, nevertheless, the question had not been put so bluntly. I answered “No. My only memory is of the few photos  outside.” You see, my father died when I was only four years old.

Many people have lost their father early in life and it is easy to feel somewhat sorry for having to deal with such a situation, especially when the death has occurred when you are at an early age. On reflection, I think I do not remember anything because he passed away when a member of the Royal Australian Air Force. He was a Corporal doing land based duties, however a medical condition took his life. It was 1942.

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The 2nd World War was in full battle and Australia was being attacked. My Mum and I, with my younger brother, were living with my grandparents and I can only imagine the emotional circumstances that existed in the household at that time. Probably not something that would leave a memory.

What I would like contribute at this time, as the question is often asked “What did you learn from your father?” The thing I learnt from his passing, at the age of 28, is a love of life. What I do remember is growing up wondering if I would live to his age, and after I did, thinking each year the bonus of life I had been blessed with when compared to my father.

I have sometimes felt disappointment in not knowing my father but life has moved on. However, can I say to those that do have fathers, celebrate today with him and return him all the love and happiness he has given to you.

Happy Father’s Day.

Are you missing your father today?