The World according to yaya

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I have always been Daddy's little girl. Even though my Mum and I were best friends after my dreaded teenage years, I was Daddy's little angel through and through.

My parents were married for 8 years before they had any kids. And then I came along. Needless to say, I was spoilt rotten (Big M says I still am!) My Dad and I formed a bond pretty quickly. Probably because the poor guy was hardly ever there- he was often working 2 or 3 jobs at a time. My Mum was the one who was around ALL the time and therefore the disciplinarian. The threat of "Wait until your father comes home" hardly worked on me. My father was hardly ever home and when he was awake, he doted on me. He was my hero.

As I got older Mum started working night shift in a factory and Dad looked after us kids (my brother and I) in the evenings. I now started seeing Dad more and Mum only in the mornings before school and on the weekends (how she did it I will never know). I became Daddy's little helper - helping with the dinner, chores and my brother. I grew to have the same likes and dislikes as my Dad - we loved reading and books, English comedy, overseas travel etc. My Dad was a task master when it came to school and I got fantastic grades, so as to please him. He was still my hero.

Then my Dad got sick. Illness, combined with overwork, a sudden onset of panic attacks and a huge stress load wore my Dad down and he had a nervous breakdown at 43. I remeber visiting my Dad in hospital and wanting to help him escape. I remember the whole family walking on eggshells because the slightest stress could trigger him into a dark, deep spiral of despair. It's hard to see any man cry but when it's your Dad it hits you in the pit of your stomach and you never forget it. He was down and out and my Mum was wonderful. "We'll pull through as a family" she would often say. Although tired, weak and a mess - he was still my hero.

After a few years he could last weeks, months without having a panic attack. My Mum started to get sick and this became a ongoing theme. She was diagnosed with severe glaucoma, bowel cancer, COPD and a brain anuerysm all in the time frame of 6 years. Both Mum and Dad had taken early retirement and their lives were now centred around each others medical appointments and visits to the pharmacy. Dad became Mum's life line and after she survived a severe stroke in 2004 (leaving her with balance difficulties and with a loss of short-term memory) he became her full time carer - cleaning, cooking, taking her to hospital in the early hours of the morning, making her comfortable. It was hard for him but he took it in his stride. Mum would tell me of nights where she couldn't sleep and Dad would tell her made up stories to make her laugh. They held hands more and talked about their future together all of the time. Everything my Dad did was to make my Mum happy. He was my absolute hero.

Then Mum died. Dad crumbled for a day but bucked up for us kids and was a saint. He arranged the funeral and service all by himself and on the day he didn't want a stranger to get up and talk about Mum. He did it. Although you could see the sobs lurking beneath the surface, he spoke for a hour about my Mum, how wonderful she was and their life together. He made sure he mentioned all the important people in her life and he spoke so eloquently and beautifully that my heart just broke and it hasn't been mended since. People still come up to me and say:
"This is such a weird thing to say but your Mothers service was the most beautiful I have ever attended". He was a hero for all of us.

And today it's my Dad's 58th birthday. And he has told me he doesn't want to celebrate it, he has nothing to celebrate. But I have. I want to celebrate the fact that I am so lucky to have two of the most wonderful parents in the world. I want to clelebrate that I am blessed by being surrounded by my parents love and support. I want to celebrate that my Dad is still here and that I can still hug him, hold him and talk to him whenever I want. I want to celebrate that whenever I feel like it, I can see my hero. My Daddy is my hero, always has been and always will be.


  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger SueeeuS said…

    I am crying for/with you. How blessed you are to have and have had such love from your parents, for them to have loved each other so deeply, to have been able to see this love and experience it! Oh, your dad has SO much to be proud of, for having given that to you, all without even knowing what a precious and priceless gift he gave. I wish you all well.

  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger Suse said…

    I haven't dropped in for a while as I thought you were gone (overseas), but then I saw a comment from you elsewhere, so came here and found this beautiful tribute to your dad.

    Happy belated birthday, Yaya's Dad.

  • At 5:50 PM, Blogger KikiMiss said…

    I'm crying too. I feel exactly the same way about my Dad and love him immensely. It's a different kind of love to that I feel for my internal kind of love. I hope your Dad is feeling strong and you too.


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