If you follow me on social media, you know that my dad has been ill for a year and a half. Last night after I called to “talk” to him (he couldn’t respond but he could hear), to say goodbye, he passed away. Peacefully.
I don’t really talk a lot about my family. Right now, mainly, because I still miss my mum so much. Mostly, it’s because I’m a ridiculous woman and a selfish one to boot.
I am usually loath to admit it, but because of my dad I am who I am. He always encouraged my “obsessions,” be they what it may; reading, collecting vinyl, music, and most importantly television.
No matter what issues we ever had with each other (mostly because we were so much alike; so quick to temper) we always could come back to a common ground. If it weren’t for him I’d have never have fallen in love with my all time favourite television show, Blake’s 7 at a young age, and I certainly wouldn’t have met Paul Darrow while I was as an impressionable 10 year old.
My dad took us all to a science fiction convention, most likely so I could meet Kerr Avon in the flesh. I remember that day so vividly; I was so nervous, but my dad was there with me the entire time. I couldn’t have done it alone.
He always referred to him as “my Paulie” after that.
Whenever I mentioned liking a new band or a new television show, he would be the first with bootleg tapes and tshirts. I still have all of my Blake’s 7 memorabilia he bought me as a kid, along with assorted other items that have made up my fandoms over the years.
While we have had our differences over the years, right now I am most grateful for what he did for me two years ago. Two years ago, when I was very close to my lowest point, he agreed to co-sign my loans that allowed me to go back to Glasgow to finish my Ph.D.
What I now realise, (and hindsight is 20-20) is that all he ever wanted was for me to be happy. I think that he thought tough love back home was what I needed, when in fact it was not about either of us; it was about a competitive job market for someone without a car. But that’s neither here nor there.
Most of our conversations over the past few years have been via email, talking about various things, but mostly our interest in the same television shows. Right now, it’s hard to accept that this has happened. I’m sure when 24 comes back and the first new Doctor Who episode airs or the NCIS season finale will roll around and I will expect to get an email . . . only one won’t come, and that’s probably when it will make all of this so real.
For now, the best tribute I can give to my dad, is to sit here on the couch and continue my re-watch of 24.