Yesterday I stood in my old bedroom with dad and my sister. It’s not a shrine to the days when I lived at home, my pictures still on the wall, the bed made and ready should I ever return. No, it’s not even a revamped bedroom for guests. Instead it now houses dad’s recording studio. 50 years after his days of singing in bands he now has himself set up with enough equipment to record his own albums. Everyday he spends a couple of hours ‘rehearsing’, ensuring his voice is in tip top condition. This month he has recorded his first Christmas album, I know it’s only June, and is all set to produce copies with his new super duper CD printer. Well, just as soon as he figures out how to use it. As we stood there yesterday tasked with giving our opinions on his latest recording, Perry Como’s It’s Impossible, I was instantly transported back to my days in that bedroom as the first notes from the orchestra floated out from the speakers.
Every Sunday morning dad would get up and listen to his music. At full volume. So no matter what room in the house you were in you could hear it perfectly, whether you wanted to or not. I never minded it, and I suppose now it’s why I love the music of Frank, Dean, Tony, Perry et al. This routine never changed over time, and still to this day listening to music is reserved for Sunday mornings, even though he is now a man of leisure and can listen whenever he chooses.
Not much else has changed with him over the years. He will only eat certain things, and no amount of coaxing to try new things will win him round. He hates to travel, especially flying and so pretty much refuses to go anywhere. The same goes for ‘visiting’ people. He comes to my house once a year on Christmas Day. Throw in his annual visit to his two sisters to give them their Christmas present and that’s pretty much him done for the year. He doesn’t even make a polite excuse when invited, just says no, an advantage of old age (don’t tell him I said that). He has no time, zero, for any singers other than those listed above and throws caustic remarks at all of the new kids on the block. Don’t get him started on Ronan Keating. He remains fiercely ABU, but I’m pretty sure that’s just so that he can wind his friend up when they lose. Years of practice have equipped him with the skills to be the moaniest *bleeeeeeepppp* that I know, the man can moan about ANYTHING. At length. And he still has the quickest, sharpest wit capable of inducing the heartiest of chuckles in me with one simple little comment.
But the one thing that has certainly never changed over the years is his love for us girlies three, and in more recent years his grandchildren. Actually I suspect he loves them slightly more than us now, but sure that’s a granddad’s prerogative. He will do any little favour we ask, at a moments notice. Anything we need, he has for us without question. And even the things we don’t need but he thinks we might like are foisted on us and any protestation ignored. He has only ever wanted for us to be happy, never pushing us to do anything other than the things we wanted to do. Each little triumph is greeted with words of such pride you would think we had just travelled to the moon and back. If we are happy, then so is he, and that is all he needs in this world. I know because he tells me often.
Thank you dad for all of the things that you do, big and small, for each of us. Happy Father’s day!
And to all of the other lovely daddies out there, happy Father’s Day to you too, I hope it is filled with all of your favourite people and things.