Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Man of the past

Was there anything strange about my blog posts over 2015? Perhaps yes, perhaps no? Is there, maybe, someone nearly completely absent from the 365 posts I wrote last year, whom I used to refer to frequently from Air Nice-to-Livelands' beginning? This person has only been mentioned in four posts this past year:

* Liveland History: 29 March 2012: A reflection piece in which I discussed a visit to Nottingham from three years ago, at the time.
* Phone armour: Wrote about my phone's armour and asked my readers if they remembered my post about this other person's kickstand phone case.
* Bloggers Blog Party - August 2015: This person appears when I wrote about seeing an advert in an old book of theirs. I never disclosed why I looked through the book.
* Americans and their passports: A brief end-of-paragraph sentence about this person's travelling, in the context of the post being about travelling Americans.

Dad is missing. Over the past year, whenever I travelled between Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire, my grandfather or an aunt/uncle drove me - there was nothing about Dad driving me. Whenever I was in Northamptonshire, I only mentioned my brother and mother - Dad isn't there. Whenever I was up in Nottinghamshire, there were no visits from Dad - no random drop-ins, no car service appointments...nothing. Finally, in my New Year's Eve post - my last post of 2015 - I made references to certain events I wish had "never happened" and a "stark contrast" in emotions over the year.

Dad's been dead nearly the whole time.

That's the horrid reason for his absence in my blog. A few days into 2015, while I was still recovering from that vindictive cold/flu I caught the previous December, he unexpectedly collapsed at work and was taken to a hospital, where the doctors were unable to save him. He wasn't even 52 and his and Mum's 25th anniversary was approaching. Dad's death was a sickening blow for a multitude of reasons and Mum especially has had to pick up the pieces of the resulting aftermath, which is an ongoing process.

Today is the first anniversary since his death. Only now have I felt ready to say something here, as this has long been a post that I haven't wanted to write. I've been crafting my blog carefully to avoid mentioning mere hints of his death, although I'm sure there's a post somewhere that says "mother and brother" or some other variant. It's not because I've been insulting his memory - it's because writing about the death of someone close to you is hard. It was difficult enough years ago when I wrote in a diary about the deaths of my cats but a parent...

I still find it unimaginable to think that he is gone and that he has not seen any of the progress I have made since Christmas 2014. Nor, for that matter, has he seen anything my brother has done. The last time I saw and spoke to Dad was Christmas 2014 but I was sick and could barely talk, so conversation was brief. The last time Dad and I properly conversed was on my birthday of that year, in November. 2015 is the first year of my life during which I never saw him - only some texting occurred between us in the days leading up to his death.

Dad's death is a major contributor to why I zealously attend college every day, even when I am not officially required to be in, and why I was so upset the day I overslept and came close to missing a lesson. I completed my first college course, despite what happened, with 100% attendance and I want to finish this course with that same figure.

I went into college today to complete some work; I had no official lessons but, as always, I found it beneficial being present. I had a chat with my Employability teacher from my previous course, talked to a couple of my classmates and was amused by some of the comments from the library staff. My teacher was concerned about me prior to the break and she was pleased to hear that Christmas for Mum, my brother and me was, all things considered, okay.

Dad did so much for Mum, my brother and me in the time he was in my life - for me...and my succeed will mean that all the work he put in for us paid off in the long run. It's beyond a shame that he won't be able to enjoy it or anything else.


  1. Andrew, this post is so heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure this year has been far from easy for you and your family and you're allowed to tell people when and how you want. I bet your dad would sure be proud of you and all you've accomplished in school! I'm sorry he's not around to see it for himself.

    1. Thanks for your kind words and understanding, Rebeka. They are, as always, deeply appreciated.

  2. I was thinking about you today, Andrew. ::hug:: I remember when you shared the news with me and how shocked I was.

    It's extremely hard and it doesn't really get easier, unlike what others say. You've done very well for yourself thus far and I know dad would be proud of you! ::hug::

    1. I remember telling you, too. My hands just seemed to automatically write the words...then I pressed send.

      Thank you. {{hugs}}