21st June 2020: Father’s Day

Father’s day- my 6th one as a dad myself! It really has never been about the presents (although the wifey always comes through with good ones!) but sheer gratitude for the privilege of being a dad to these girls. This year however, it feels different… painfully emotional. As if I couldn’t appreciate being a dad anymore, 2020 finds a way of doing just that! Being completely honest, lying in that hospital bed back in February, I wasn’t sure I even had another father’s day left in me. The people that know me and the people that are getting to know me will see that I love being a dad – my beautiful girls are genuinely my heaven on earth and there is absolutely nothing in this world I want more than to protect them, nurture them and simply love them. It’s the only thing I struggle with on this journey- the fear of one day not being able to be there for them – so I’m going to try and cherish every second of each day.

It also got me thinking about my own dad and the father figures around me. We all have very different relationships with our dads – some good, some bad, some ugly… I put my hands up in saying I haven’t always understood my dad very well, but two things very clearly stand out to me – firstly what has never been up for debate is the sacrifices he made to give me and my siblings the very best of everything… our home, our cars, our schools, our holidays, our clothes, our instruments… everything, we had the best and he worked his ass off to give that to us. Secondly, I have got myself in a few pickles over the years and even though I am a proud mummy’s boy, it’s my dad that has been my calm voice of reason and biggest supporter in those difficult moments to carry me through to the other side. So I just want to take a second to say thank you Daddy – I get it now and I love you.

I’m lucky to have had some great father figures in my life – but the other 2 men that stand out to me are my mamma (uncle) and my father in law. My uncle is more like a friend to me and he is my role model – I call him my Encyclopedia, whatever comes my way, I can always rely on him to have an answer for me… from teaching me to ride a bike, to playing the guitar, to helping get a mortgage for our first house – he’s my go to guy. And my father in law – well I call him Appa, which means dad in Tamil… that’s how I feel about him, he’s my dad – ironically him and my actual dad are so similar it’s a little scary! Part of my rebuilding process has been to make sure all 3 of my girls’ futures are secure… with this in mind over the last few months I truly have found a new level of appreciation for Appa. He takes “out there” decisions, goes with his heart and through all his (and Amma’s) hardwork he has had his girls at the very heart of his thinking and always been able to provide them with the very best. I am so grateful for this- thank you and I love you Appa.

I just want to finally sign off with a message to my Avaana & Arya:

My dearest AJ & Ary… Right now Avaana you’re learning to read and Arya you’re just working out A for apple! So mummy and daddy will read this to you- but it’ll be here for you to read over and over again for decades to come now! You both make me so thankful to be alive, you both make me so grateful to be alive. I will never ever give up fighting, I will fight every second of every day to protect you and be with you through every situation you face. Be brave, be kind, be loving and always try your very best at every single thing you do. Never be intimidated, never be afraid, never back down from what you believe in – you were perfectly and purposefully made. Thank you for giving me the privilege of being a father, I have all the riches of heaven and earth when I’m with you. Daddy xxx

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