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September 12, 2018

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Dad

September 12, 2018

Dog Quote: ‘Man’s best friend’

 

Word of the week: Nurturing; care for and protect (someone or something) while they are growing. "the puppy was nurtured by his parents in a close-knit family". Synonyms: bring up, care for, take care of, look after, raise, provide for.

 

Robert McGregor, where do you start when it comes to talking about your father? No one else will ever be him, no one else will ever compare to him and no one else can replace him.

 

If you are fortunate enough to know your biological father and have a fairly good relationship with him your bounds ahead of many other people in a lot ways.

 

When you have a fractured relationship with your biological Father it may seem a bit complex as you navigate your way through certain aspects of life.

 

For those of you who have found a connection with a person you consider fits the bill of a tremendous fatherly figure you are truly fortunate.

 

No matter of your families circumstances so long as you know you’re loved by someone out there that’s all that really matters.

 

Dad came over from Scotland on a ship with his parents and siblings, he was 14. That long journey across the ocean must have had a big impact on him, the main occupation he had when I was growing up was a welder at the dry docks of Brisbane. He used to tell me stories what he got up to in his day for work. One story had a secretly lasting effect on me for quite a while when I began to understand exactly what type of conditions dad was used to working in. Dad described working inside the hull of ships, welding for hours on end in hot dangerous confined spaces. Often not seeing daylight for days as he would leave home before sun up and return sometimes well after sun down. This story gave me nightmares, of course I never told Dad that, he may not tell me any more stories, keep a brave face. I would dream about being trapped in a ship’s hull the oxygen levels dropping, the heat raising the walls moving in tighter and no one knowing where I was to find me. Maybe that’s why I haven’t left the continental shelf on a ship before?

 

I loved the weekends when dad was free to spend time with me! Of course there were household chores to catch up on and that became part of the fun. Dad never told me to do anything, instead he would invite me to join him to do a spot of weeding with him, to help load up the ute with tree clippings, to help wash the car or help with painting back fence, anything to plod along with dad on Saturday morning; although I did like to grocery shopping with mum to pick things I liked to snack on.

 

It was fun to be in dad’s company chatting away about random things while he just listened, it didn’t matter if he was really listening so as he just listened, I did chat a lot when I was young.

As a teenager dad joined a Brisbane Bush Walking Club. That meant more camping and adventures of all kinds. I could bring friends if I wanted as well. Rock climbing, canoeing, abseiling, mountain climbing, hiking and more dad’s friends were super keen about the outdoors. This also included bird watching, I was too hyperactive to be patient enough to sit a watch tiny bird’s flit between bushes or notice the eagle flying overhead, no clue that the future held a position in the birds department at Australia Zoo, who da thought.

 

Dad definitely had a passion for travel and got to pack my bags and join him in Europe for a 5 week Trafalgar Bus Tour across several countries. I had to look after his aging mother, Clotilde, on the flight over. This was my first ever flight in a plane, I’d been on a chopper flight a few years earlier. Goodness knows how I managed it, Grandma spoke in broken English with a twist of French Belgium and a Scottish accent, think Swedish Chef, so I had to translate as well. My concern was getting to the right gate at the right time with Grandma in tow, I was not about to miss any planes on the way. The experience flying was another story in itself, so if anyone is reading my blogs and interested to know remind me to write about it please, think prior to 9/11 security was pretty lax compared to now and landing in the old Hong Kong Airport was utterly jaw clenching!

Anyway we arrived safely in London’s Heathrow Airport, I saw my first semi-automatic weapon welding security team, scary, and met dad who took us straight to the hotel. I had just spent the last 26hrs awake, sheer excitement, and I was quite jet lagged, it felt as if the building was swaying but we had to stay awake longer to adjust to the time difference, that was ok, I didn’t want to miss a thing!

Dad planned the whole trip for us and we had so much fun exploring such magnificent cities, eating foods I’d never seen or tasted before and soaking up the countryside in forests or on top of snow-capped Mt’s, first time seeing snow, such a Queenslander.

 

I was very fortunate my father thought to fill our time together with precises memories and the spirit of adventure. I moved to Canada after I graduated University with a one way ticket to Lake Louise. Dad was going to join me in Lake Louise for another adventure but sadly I never saw him again, he died on the 10th of March, my parents wedding anniversary is on the 15th and my birthday is on the 20th. I spent that evening working in a restaurant, what else was there to do on the other side of the world? I continued working in Canada and moved to London in honour of Dad showing me the world and letting me explore with him.

 

If you could do anything with your dad for a day, what would it be?

xox Bec Mc

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