My father died last December and left an inconceivably large gap in my life. Emerging from a fog of grieving and bereavement, Father’s Day for me now is a now a time for fond memories and tales. I can’t yet listen to Radio Nova because of their overabundance of songs that we both loved and I still reach for the phone to call him when something crazy happens. This blog post is a reflection on the things that I learned from him. In addition to being able to order beer in twelve languages and what to do in the event of a bar fight*
- The thing people don’t talk about someone passes away, is that the music that they loved and sang along to prove to be challenging to listen to afterwards. Witnessed first-hand by the people in the lift in the White Water Centre in Arklow when Dance the Night Away by the Mavericks was on. Sorry guys… Dad loved music. Happiest when belting out a tune and dancing like a maniac. Leading me to my first piece of advice – dance like no one is watching, and sing like no one is listening. Frequently, without most of the words and some of the tune, but hey, even Bruce Springsteen throws in a la la la sometimes. The point is that even if it’s not perfect – do it with enthusiasm.
- Dad subscribed to the theory of, there is no such thing as bad publicity – which was a help being a teenager in the late nineties early 00’s. Otherwise known as the decade of bad style choices. You might be remembered for a bad dye job, but it’s better than being forgotten. The only thing worse than people talking about you, is people not talking about you. Or in this case, the only thing worse than people looking at you, is people not looking at you. Both being Leo, my father and I shared the uncanny knack to be the centre of attention upon entering a room. The drawback being, the result of the withdrawal of the spotlight leads to some major roaring. Ya can’t fight the laws of the jungle can you.
- Boundless optimism. They aren’t wrinkles, they are laughter lines. You are not unemployed, you have a new opportunity for a challenge. You aren’t depressed because you can’t get a job, it is an exercise in character building. I have to admit, the never ending stream of positivity could get a little wearing, but overall, the sentiment was fantastic. And looking back I learned that it’s not what happens to you in life that’s important, it’s the ability to be able to pick yourself up from it. And simultaneously not get too disheartened with life, even when it appears you are continually picking yourself up from things…
I hope you have the opportunity to do something fun with your Dad this Father’s Day – if they are no longer with us, why not take a trip down memory lane. Memories are precious, and really the only thing that we truly own. With the current embargo placed on Radio Nova and all things ‘Dad rock’ in our house, I can say that the following link is an exception for a special occasion.
**Overhead clapping and Dad boogying are optional.