As you all know, sadly, I lost the most amazing person in my life a few months ago to mental illness. Depression is such a mystery to most, as what actually is depression? Depression takes many different forms, and unfortunately, this took over my dad. Although within the last few months I’ve been through hell and back, I only feel like this has made me stronger and grown as an individual. I know my dad is in a better place now, and this peaceful thought is something I remind myself of everyday. When I think of my dad, I think of happiness and the unforgettable memories we shared, because I will always remember the best of him. My dad was, and still is, my hero and always will be. In an odd way, this whole thing has made me feel more determined to get where I want to be in life, to simply be happy and to most importantly, make my dad proud. I don’t think I could have got though these past few months without my amazing family and friends- but most of all, my mum. Not only has she battled her own grief of losing her whole world, which I cannot even begin to imagine, but she has supported me even so. To that, I am so thankful, I cannot put into words how much I idolise my mum, and that I know she’ll always be there for me no matter what. I know my brother, my mum and I will make my dad incredibly proud and will come together stronger, because that’s all he would of wanted.
This past Sunday, was a very special day for us. It was my dad’s birthday, which he would of been 57, which is no age at all- he was more like a 21 year old, always pushing the limit and living life to the full. This is a lesson he has taught me, and I will adapt this throughout the rest of my life.
To honour my dad, my family, some close friends and I made our way to Llanthony Priory, in Wales. This is a very special place for him, as it’s where he was most happy. He loved the mountains, so it made sense to all walk up to the final checkpoint of the Big Black Mountain Challenge (something he and his friends did regularly), to celebrate his birthday.
It was a hard climb with the august sun beaming on our backs, but we did it, and I know dad would of been smiling down. The view was incredible as the day was so clear, and the sky was filled with swallows, which was strangely comforting as they were dad’s favourite, he always got so excited to see them arrive in the spring. I wore one of dad’s crazy Hawaiian shirts (for which he was famous for) up the mountain so that he was walking with me. I also carried a bunch of bright yellow sunflowers to put on the top, in memory of him. Sunflowers remind me of my dad in so many ways, they are bright and happy like my dad, and they stand so tall and proud- which sums up my dad, he was an extremely proud man. The day was obviously finished with a pint in the pub for him, as he loved a pint, along with all the other simple things in life.
I hope I made my dad proud that day, and hopefully many other days throughout my life. I know he’ll be looking down and smiling, thinking ‘that’s my girl’. Well, this is all for you dad, I hope to make you very proud and to achieve everything you wanted in life/ what you achieved.. To simply be happy, because life is too short to waste it unhappy.