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Dad

August 25, 2011

I’ve toyed with writing this blog for a long time now and I won’t lie its been difficult to write.Its been sat on my computer for about 3 months now, and added to slowly. It doesn’t really have anything to it and its really fragmented but i need to share it. I don’t think its a topic I can ever right about well, but i want people to know what i knew of my dad.

This won’t be an honest view of my dad, I’m sure he had flaws; like we all do, but i’m remembering my dad from when I was  an 11 year old boy; at that age if you’re lucky like me your dad and mum are perfect and can do no wrong.

When I was a boy, like all boys I loved my dad and idolised him. In my eyes he could do no wrong. In many ways I’m like him and in many ways I’m not. I’ve been told I look like him, but if i do or not i’m not sure. I get told often I’m just like my dad, I share his cynism, his sarcasm and love of sports.

He always had time for us as kids. My parents never had a lot of money but everything they could spare went on me and Stu. We had holidays, toys and day trips. I learnt how to ride a bike early with dad, although it was not until much much later this love of bikes would really develop:

My dad was really good at Maths, I wasn’t. I took after mum and loved history but my dad and mum did everything they could to help this love develop. When we went on trips to France, I’m sure they’d have loved days on the beach, and they got them it was just the d-day landing beaches to look at yet another bunker!

I was always taken to Kingsholm with my dad, and its from there I developed such a love of rugby. I adore the sport and as i’ve mentioned before hate that I’ll never have the opportunity to watch a game over a beer with Dad.I remember standing there asking him which player glos was as dad was always cheering him on. Like dad I worshipped Teaguey. This is always my fondest memory of dad, I have other fond memories of us as a family but rugby was my time with dad. I know there was a crowd of thousands there, but it was like the two of us watched it alone and no one else intruded. I’ll remember the time I was treated by dad to a gloucester scarf. In those days kids replica kits were a rarity so i treasured that scarf.

Mum and dad worked hard when we were kids. They didn’t seen each other a lot as they worked opposite shifts so they could look after us and spend time with us. It was rare for us not to spend time with our parents both days. They’d exhaust themselves working nights (especially mum) then spend the day entertaining us. They were great parents and i hope one day I can do as good a job as them.

Not sure what i was doing here, letting one go by the looks of it!
Dad had a warped sense of humour. I remember he sent a card to a friend who got angry as all the squirrels used to steal the nuts from this guys tree. Dad signed it as being from Squirral Nutkins.Another time when i was about 6 he came out of the bathroom and had shaved of his tash. I commented on how he’d lost it and the git sent me off to look for it! (for some reason this has brought back memories of him cuddling me and his tash feeling prickly!)

He could have a sharp temper, but it faded quickly. He spent lots of time with me and my brother. I used to love going out on walks with him and the dog. If i want to be ‘with my dad’ I don’t go to his grave (to my shame i rarely go – its too painful) I go to Robinswood hill and remember those walks. Sometimes up on the hill, i’m 11 again.

Dad was very introverted, if something bothered him he kept it to himself, i guess thats why we never saw it coming. I remember a few weeks before he died we went to thorpe park. It was a great day out, but it poured with rain suddenly. We ran back to the car and ate lunch but dad stood outside in the pouring rain for a while. Why we never saw this as a sign i’ll never know. A few weeks later dad was dead.

I’ll never forget the day, it was raw pain. Then anger. Why did he do this to us. I didn’t know what to think. In my childhood innocence i wanted to believe he’d done it to save us. We had money problems, i won’t go into. but i believe he was doing it to save us to get us money. I’d trade it all to have him bacl but it niggled away, did he do it out of cowardice, did he abondon us? The moods were horrible I didn’t know what to think.

Thankfully for us, our amazing mum dragged us through it. I don’t know how she did it. We came first always. her own pain was hidden and we became the priority. It was her that found winstons wish and got me and my brother into it. I’m so grateful to her, i don’t know how we’d cope otherwise.

So thats my dad, he was funny, thoughtful, caring and flawed. like all of us, but it didn’t matter, he was my da and he was taken from me and my family too soo, but thats life. This isn’t a woe is me story, i’ve been lucky, my life since has been amazing. I’ve a loving family, a great bunch of mates, an amazing girlfriend and an exciting new job. Sure its not perfect and has its down moments, but i do my best to enjoy it and honour my dad. Who inspite of his flaws is still my hero.

A rare picture of me with my dad. Note the 8Os-tastic jumpers.

So thats why i’m doing all this riding, to remember my dad, to show him what he meant to me and that i remember him and  to thank Winstons wish, an amazing charity, who without their help i don’t know how i’d have turned out.

If you want as always to support me, then you can donate at:

http://www.justgiving.com/russell-brookes

thanks for reading i’m sure it wasn’t very interesting and a bit self-indulgan but i needed to write it and get it off my chest. Normal service will resume in the next post, where i’ll whinge and bore you about bikes again!

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2 Comments
  1. Sammy permalink

    great post Russell.

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  1. 2011: A Year in Review « Getting on my bike

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