… but there was a couple of moments in my recent trip the hospital where I thought “Is this it?”. All my male antecedents have died before getting to 60, my Dad made it to 59 and 10 months and he was the oldest. So there has always been a dark joke at turning 50 that my brother and I are in “the last 10”.
I miss my Dad today still – he’d have been 91 this year if he had lived. But I was just 22 when he died, suddenly of a heart attack. My son was most fearful when I was in hospital recently that a heart issue was the route cause given the family history. My Dad didn’t see me get married less than a year after he died. He never was able to visit either of my houses I’ve bought and lived in, never met my kids… I’ve never had a chance as an adult to say “You did ok Dad, look I’ve done ok I think.” That weighs heavy on me.
When I was ill the other week – I still am slowly getting better. I realised how much I really would prefer to live on. My son will, in the next year or so hopefully, qualify for his PhD – a stunning achievement for a boy who was rejected by teachers at 11 and advised not to attempt to get to grammar school. In the end I’m glad he didn’t the school he went to, which endlessly gets a lot of unjustified bad press, did a brilliant job with him and he set audacious goals he continually achieves. Not many 25 year olds in astrophysics have two published papers with them as lead author before gaining their PhD. I’m hugely proud to call him my son. My daughter is on course for a good BSc degree and talking about an MSc and possibly a doctorate after that. She is bright, intelligent, very personable, works hard and volunteers to work with young offenders. She cares deeply. I’m hugely proud to call her my daughter.
If not for me wanting to do a few more things in life, like finish my course and do some work as a counsellor in my attempts to help my little bit of the world be a better place for some people, I really want to see my children develop as the terrific adults they seem to be destined to be. Funny how that is the thing I was most worried about missing – probably it isn’t odd at all but it shows how grateful I am for the life and family I have. So glad that sobriety has given me that chance.
Happy Christmas to all of you who celebrate it and I wish you all a good New Year for 2016.