Dear Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation,
My father died last Sunday 4/3/07 of prostate cancer aged 69. I helped nurse him in last 5 days of his life, staying overnight in hospital with him one night. The pain and agony he suffered must have been excruciating.
I am writing this article for two reasons.
The first is to urge all men to get themselves regularly checked for prostate cancer (my Dad’s cancer was only detected 18 months before his death).
The second is that we all should take the time to write a tribute to our parents. Don’t leave it too long! Mine took two weeks from the time I heard the idea until I put pen to paper, because I had to let go of a lot of past hurts. I hope the following encourages others to act now on both fronts.
A TRIBUTE TO YOU DAD
This will probably come as a surprise to you, it will probably seem disjointed and you will probably need help reading it. But know this for certain, every word of it comes from my heart.
The first thing I want to say is that I love you so much! I might not always show it, but I do. I am sorry for all the things I did wrong as a son and I wish that things could have been different, but maybe if they had, God wouldn’t have moulded us in to the men of God we are today.
Thank you for taking me to all the cricket matches and all the BMX races I raced when I was younger.
Thank you for taking us fishing and swimming to the beaches in WA. Thank you for the great holidays you gave us growing up in WA.
I will always remember your corny jokes, your gardening and mechanical skills, your famous rock cakes, watching The Bill, and your Boney M and Nana Maskouri albums.
Your love for general knowledge is something that you have passed on to me, and for that I am thankful.
You are a fantastic grandfather to Jasmine, Joshua, Keona, Iolana, Callum and Myah. The kids love you very much and admire your strength and courage through battling your illness.
I am glad that we made amends and put the past behind us before you found out that you had cancer. I enjoy giving you great big hugs each time I see you!
There are a lot of memories that come to my mind of the time that we spent together:
Christmas’s and New Years, picnics and BBQs, watching basketball on TV together, listening to your “When I was a boy..” and army (i.e. climbing Mt Royal) and police stories.
Thank you for staying married and riding through the storms that marriage brings.
It’s easy for me to be critical of you as a father, but as time has passed and I too have found out how difficult that role of being a father/provider/lover is, my respect and admiration for you has grown immensely. I know that you didn’t have the best of upbringings and that as a father you did the best with what you knew how to. For that, I am very grateful!!
As I finish writing this tribute to you, I am sure that I have left out thank you’s and other things that I wanted to say, memories that I wanted to revisit and many more words of appreciation.
I thank God for the time we had together as father and son. I thank you for moulding me into the man I am today. I hate seeing you in pain and suffering, and wish I could do more. I love you with every part of my soul and always will.
You are a great dad in my eyes, and I’m thankful to God that he gave you to me as a father.
Love, your eldest son,