Dear Diary,


My beautiful daughter gave birth the other week to a beautiful boy, 8lb 3oz. I was supposed to speak in Parliament House at the Human Rights Conference about ‘DIDs’ that week. And you know what? Normally my work would take preference over my private life. That’s possibly why I am now divorced. But this time I said no. My beautiful daughter and the birth of my new grandson were more important.

I rushed down to Sydney as soon as I could. I cannot explain how proud and how happy I was to be holding my little grandson in hospital the other day. I can’t tell you how great it was to see the look on my daughter’s face when I walked into the hospital room with flowers in one hand and a teddy bear for my grandson under my arm. I was happy, proud and honoured to be able to be a part of her life. It wasn’t always like that.

You see, I married her mother when I was around 18 and she was around 17. We moved out to what was then the farthest reach of civilisation, the far western suburbs of Sydney. Life was hard, no money: Struggle Street. A couple of kids with a couple of kids. No support, no idea, just dreams, and dreams are fine but take a lot of hard work, something I guess at the time we were a little short of.

I saw my daughter’s mum at the hospital; we had spoken a few times over the years. We said hello and that was about it. Over thirty years, I guess you don’t really know what to say. There has been a lot of water pass under the bridge since. A number of relationships where I travelled, often with porters because of the excess baggage I was dragging behind me.

My daughter loves her mum and so she should, and I know she also loves her dad, and that’s all that really matters. I haven’t been much of a dad to her over the years, and I am humbled to be allowed to be part of her life today.

And now today I have this beautiful grandson whom I hope and pray has entered a world that, by the time he gets old enough, will allow him, will educate him, will guide him to become a father himself. And not only become a father, but nurture that concept of fatherhood as something to be proud of. Hopefully by the time he gets there, things will be different. Hopefully by the time he gets there, we as a society will have woken up and will rejoice with him when it’s his turn.

While I was in Sydney, my son came over to see his new nephew and we spent time together. We finished up having a meal together and talked and talked about everything, about nothing and decided to wet the baby’s head together. And by the time we decided enough was enough, I think someone had left a window open, because by the way we were both swaying, there must have been a huge breeze blowing through it.

We stayed the night together at a motel, and on leaving the next day, my son, who is a couple of feet taller than me, leaned over and gave me a cuddle, saying, “Dad, I had a great time last night, I really enjoyed it, thanks Dad.”

“So did I mate, so did I,” I said.

I didn’t drive back to Coffs Harbour that day, I floated back.

Gee, I’m proud to be a dad.

I’m sorry I didn’t make it to your conference, but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!

[Photo: Pixabay]
Published On: October 3rd, 20050 CommentsTags: , , , ,

About the Author: Tony Miller

Tony Miller was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2010 Queen's Birthday honors list 'For service to the community through the provision of support services for separated families'.

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