One of the downsides about living overseas is days like today. It’s a day I’d like to spend with my dad, take him out for lunch, see him opening a gift in person. Instead, we have to settle with presents through the post, a phone call and a thank you said over the miles. And that’s the best case scenario.
It’s not even like my brother can carry the baton for us both in my absence on Father’s Day as he lives even further away.
So all in all, what I can do on Father’s Day just doesn’t seem enough. Not considering all that my father has done for me, the inspiration he has been, the motivating factor at so many important times in my life.
And when I stop and think about it, he’s actually only got himself to blame for the fact that I am in the Netherlands and absent every Father’s Day.
In 1999 he gave me an early Christmas present of a reconditioned computer so that I could complete the dissertation for my post-graduate degree. Instead I met my future husband online, who happened to be a Dutchman. And I never finished that dissertation….
That was certainly one of my father’s most influential moves. Others were spurring me on to go to university, motivating me to get a good education under my belt. He was also responsible for me taking A-Level Economics. He wanted me to take A-Level Maths. After I finished laughing hysterically, we settled on a compromise of Economics so that I had something at least a little ‘business’ like. Looking back now it provided a good balance with the more creative A-Levels I took. He’s always encouraged me to strive to do more than I thought I could.
He was by my side as I bought my first home. He
helped me hang hung lights and pictures and candleholders on the walls in my new flat. When I announced I was contemplating moving to the Netherlands his response was “Carpe diem”. He walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. He jumped on a plane to come see us just days after each of my three sons were born.
He’s been a steadfast influence in my life and, despite the distance, has remained a father and revelled in his role as grandfather to my sons. He is a cornerstone in my little Dutch family – and all done from 560km away. He is the ultimate proof that it’s not how far away you live from your family, but the effort you make to be a parent and grandparent that counts.
So, happy father’s day Dad – thank you for all you do and all that you are in our lives. Hope your ‘top up’ lasts you past the summer….cheers!
And of course happy father’s day to all those other fathers out there – including my children’s very own super papa.