Another first without you…

Another letter to Dad, this time as I’m trying to get through my first Father’s Day without him. I can never be grateful enough for all that he’s given me in life. The pain has not got any better 9 months after losing him, and I’m still not ready to live without him.

Daddy where do I start?

Each year as Father’s Day approached I would ask you what would you like as a present? Each year your reply would be that you don’t want anything apart from our company. Each year I’d feel guilty that I couldn’t give you a gift you deserve because no gift would ever be valuable enough to make up for all that you’ve given us in life. But all you wanted was for us to spend time with you. To you, we were your gift.

I chose to share this photo because it truly personifies what being a dad meant to you. The pride you felt through our achievements, especially knowing how much you pushed us and helped us to reach those goals. I’ve seen this expression over and over again. Whenever we had a dance recital or stage performance. Whenever we got good grades at school. I still remember the tears streaming down your face when I showed you my O’level results. As we got older we’d see you this happy and proud with every milestone. Whenever Nigel succeeded with the organisation and setup of a big event, when Stef got married, when Nicky was born and you became a grandad, whenever Stef produced another incredible production and when she set up The Palace String Orchestra, with every graduation that I had knowing how much you pushed me to keep studying, and then, with every achievement I reached at work.

Last year we had been waiting for me to receive a promotion and reach another milestone. Unfortunately it didn’t come soon enough for you to see me get it before you left us. The day that I received that promotion my tears wouldn’t stop knowing how proud you must be, but I couldn’t physically see this expression on your face, and I couldn’t get my usual bear hug. And these past weeks… well you know what I’ve been going through and how much I’ve been seeking your guidance. Seeing you at a distance in a dream has not been reassuring enough to give me the confidence that I’m making the right choices. But you always told us to work hard and trust our guts and most importantly to do what makes us happy. Well, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Time will tell whether I’ve made the right choice, but I trust that you’ve been guiding me towards this choice (as you always did when you were physically with me), and that you’re proud that I chose to take a chance. As a businessman you always had to take chances and calculated risks. That’s a trait that you definitely passed onto all three of us. We do whatever we do with the passion that you passed on to us, we rise to challenges and actually love to be challenged, and we push ahead to reach our goals and turn our dreams into reality.

Daddy I can’t say that I’m fine with the fact that I won’t be spending this day with you. I can’t say that I’m fine with not being able to physically hug you. I can’t say that I can accept not having your words to guide me during these times. What I can do is thank you for raising me to be a strong, independent woman and teaching me to never let anything stand in my way as I work to achieve my dreams. Thank you also for believing in my dreams and pushing me to work towards them, and for making me a dreamer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a princess is nothing without her king, but I’m trying daddy, I truly am. As long as I keep believing that I’m making you proud, I can find the strength to push on.

Your forever princess xoxo

Dear Dad…

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