Happy Fathers Day Bruce
I was Daddy’s little girl. From the moment he got that phone call from the adoption agency he knew that I was to be his. As long as she had blue eyes he didn’t care about the rest of me.
Dad always let Mum do all the discipline. He hated getting angry at me, hated when Mum nagged at me. I even remember when one of the times I was suspended from school I came home and told him and he just laid there on the lounge with his eyes closed in silence. I was so waiting for him to explode like an angry bear and tear my head off but he didn’t. As a 13 year old I was standing there waiting in anticipation for this reaction. I softly asked him, Dad are you going to say anything? He replied and said, “Nope- cause you’re going to have to deal with your mother!”
I hated that day as Mum went woop-arse on me so bad. He knew, he knew that I would be in for something major. As I had to spend that week at home from School with him he didn’t care. I think he liked the company to be honest.
Dad was a fibre glassier and a concreter. He had his business in the back yard of our home. I have many memories of me mixing concrete or painting. Even still to this day I think of Dad when I smell fibre glass sheets. Dad was one of those old guys that liked to bury money in the back yard in glass Jars. But then he forgot where he put it. Hahaha it was 15 years later when we sold that house the new kids happened to be digging around playing and yep you guessed it, they found one of those jars. $500 I think.
Dad was always strong in my eyes. He would be able to lift these massive concrete statues around all by himself, cut brush with a razor sharp machete or even hold onto my black tyre tube with his toes while he held on for dear life to a tree while I was being swept away down the rapids of Wee Jasper. He saved my life that day.
He was the peace keeper but also the protector. He was the best story teller. Most of the time he would spin the biggest bullshit stories that he became sound well known for. “Oh shut up Fred.” We would say to him while laughing.
We were always out bush camping or swimming in rivers. A very active lifestyle growing up.
My dad actually taught the Timmermans how to catch Yabbies in a dam with a tennis racket. Yes he did. My Dad could do anything….
Except beat Cancer.
This was the time in my life my heart broke and never mended. He was diagnosed in March 2008 with Lung Cancer. We used to always joke for years and years he would have this because he was a heavy smoker. He actually gave up when Chloe was born but 5 years later he still was diagnosed.
I will never forget the day when the Doctor confirmed Stage 4 lung Cancer. Dad asked how long he had to live and I was crying so much and became very overwhelmed I had to run out of the room as I didn’t want to know. I knew in my heart it wouldn’t be long. I remember standing in the hallway of the Hospital crying with pain knowing that the father I know is leaving me and I can’t stop it.
How do I stop crying? The pain is so bad I feel like I’m going to vomit.
Mum and I nursed Dad for 8 months. There was not a day that went buy that I was not beside him. Sitting with him while he had Chemo, blood transfusions, Radiation or taking him to the Doctors. I remember the last week he was at home and we could not control the pain. I knew this was it. I had to take this man that nurtured and that raised me to Palliative Care to die.
I will never forget that night of the sounds he took taking his last breaths and the pain I went through watching. I lay next to his bed crying to come back but he didn’t. At that point in my life I felt alone. It was just me and Mum. To continue on this life which has now changed in a matter of minutes.
To look at death now I am not afraid of it. I thank my dad for saying to me in his last words ‘Be strong’. I became angry at Viv through this time of 8 months. Viv never visited or said goodbye. I was so frustrated as all he wanted was to say thank you one last time. I remember one of the nights I slept in the seat next to his bed in the hospital and asked me did he make me happy. Yes Viv he did make me happy. Best Father I could have ever had and still to this day a man I keep buried inside my heart.
I don’t often speak of Bruce as it’s still too painful. I don’t look at photos, watch home movies or engage in memory conversations.
But for those of you that still have your Dad, enjoy them, tell him you love him. Give them a cuddle just because.
Happy Fathers Day Dad RIP 1/8/1948 – 19/10/2008