There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad. He was my superhero. My ‘monsters under the bed’ (and spider!) catcher. My role model, my inspiration and my teacher.
I feel blessed to have had him in my life even if it feels like he was taken from me too soon. He taught me the value of family – be it immediate or extended. Family always came first to him. Everything he did was for his family. We were always at the forefront of his mind in any of his decisions. When I was 7 years old we emigrated from Malta to England – my parents left a comfortable life in Malta to give my brother and I more choice and opportunities growing up. Both mum and dad struggled to find jobs, we lived in rented accommodation and owned a car that was constantly breaking down. Not once did they look back. They built a new home, new life and a new future for their family. Determined, they worked hard and never gave up because they wanted a better life for their children.
Family is at the heart of everything I do. They always come first because I understand the value of family. Some may say I’m stubborn but I like to think I’d determined 😉 I don’t give up easily because when the going got tough my dad didn’t give up either.
Dad always taught me to look after what’s important to me. Whether it be friends, my toys or later in life, my little, brown (rusty) mini! Perhaps that’s why he taught me how to change a tier, check its pressure and check my oil and water levels. He always said we had to nurture friendships – perhaps that’s why he had so many good friends and was so well loved among them.
I was always encouraged to make my own decisions even when they were the wrong ones. Dad always gave me his opinion (which I usually did the opposite too!). He was always there to pick up the pieces if things didn’t quite go to plan. Never once did he say ‘I told you so’. He wanted me to take responsibility for my decisions and to learn from my mistakes in the knowledge that he and my mum would always be there to support me.
My dad taught me to fight. Fight for life. No matter how tired you get, you roll up your sleeves and keep fighting until your very last breath…
What did your dad teach you?