What My Father Taught Me

Some of you will know that my Dad passed away suddenly, two weeks ago today. It’s moments like this that we never ever forget in life and for so many different reasons. As a writer I couldn’t not write about this and as a son I couldn’t not share a little bit about the man who had such a profound influence on my life – more so than I had ever realised.

My Dad was 78. We almost hesitate to tell people this because his age didn’t give a true reflection of the person he was. Often when we read that someone elderly has passed away we tend to think “oh ok they lived a good life,” but in his case age truly was just a number. He was so full of life, so funny, still so handsome and just as cheeky as I imagine he was when only a young boy. It pains me to say it, but he wasn’t ready to go. For now though I’ll put that to one side because if there’s one thing my Dad wouldn’t have wanted, it’s me depressing you all with some morbid post about death!

He was a joker. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows I’m a bit of a prankster and love a good joke and anyone who has ever worked with my Dad knows exactly where I get it from. His humour was his most endearing quality. It’s also been a bit of a saving grace for us over the last couple of weeks. To find ourselves hysterically laughing at a time like this seems rather strange, but it’s proving to be the mark that he has left on all of us. A few years back my Dad was hospitalised with pneumonia and one evening when we went to visit him, his bed was lying empty. We looked at each other confused as to where he was as we all know what an empty bed can mean in a hospital. Moments later we noticed his feet popping out from behind a chair at the back of the room, he was crouched down hiding, waiting to jump out and scare us. It made me smile then and I’m smiling now as I write this three years on.

Humour isn’t the only thing I’ll take away from him. As you’ll all know my writing is centred around the subjects of dating, relationships and I guess to some extent, love. I never claim to be an expert on any of these subjects, because I believe that every single on of us are experts in our own way through life experience. But it isn’t always our own experiences that we learn from. My Dad was hilarious, but he was also grumpy and annoying at times and like all of us had many flaws. But at the end of the day when I reflect on the things that really matter, he would’ve done anything for anyone, he doted on all of us. The way he felt about my Mum and the way he looked after her set an example to any husband. My Dad had lived a long life before our little family and would be the first to admit that he made many mistakes over the years, but I believe from the bottom of my heart that he learned from all of them and in the end he lived for us. When I look back now, I can proudly say that he was always there for us – always.

My Dad never asked for much just a newspaper on my way home from work and a quick chat at the end of the day – I only wish I’d done it more often. It’s so sad to think that our parents won’t be around forever but whilst they still are; talk to them, hug them and make sure they know just how much they mean to you. I guess that goes for all of our loved ones as well. As for me, I will remember the good times and I will laugh and I will write through the pain and then I’ll laugh some more. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

In Loving Memory of Thomas Cox


45 thoughts on “What My Father Taught Me

  1. I’m very sorry for your loss! It’s so difficult to lose a parent. My father passed away five years ago at the age of 77, and it was one of the hardest things my mom and I ever had to go through. He is still in my thoughts every day. He was extremely influential on my life and the decisions I’ve made in adulthood, and I’d give anything to talk to him one more time. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  2. Truly sorry to hear of your loss – It sounds like you have the most awesome, cherished memories of him and they will always remind you of him, his character and what he means to you – powerful things to hold on to – my thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

  3. So sorry for your loss. My dad passed 15 years ago. He was three weeks short of turning 50. All those memories I have about him have only turned sweeter and even his flaws are missed. I sometimes have vivid dreams of him and wake up thinking he’s still around. In a way they are while we keep them alive in our memories and telling stories about them. Such love shows through this post. He’d be very proud I am sure. Take care.

    1. Hey Toni, sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your lovely comments and again I’m sorry to hear about your Dad. I had the most incredible vivid dream that I’ll tell you about some other time, let’s just say it made everything that tiny bit better. Hope you are well, lots of love. Paul

  4. Sorry for your loss, Paul. These beautiful memories you share will be with you forever. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things we have to go through. My dad has been gone 4 and half years and there isn’t a day when I don’t think about him.

    Like you say, writing will help ease the pain, and you’ve done a great job with the peice.

    A very touching tribute! X

    1. Amanda! One of my favourite bloggers 🙂
      Sorry for the late reply, thank you for your lovely comments. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad also, it’s nice when people know what you’re going through. I still see him absolutely everywhere, I’m sure you know what I mean. Thanks again, speak soon. Paul x

  5. I feel and share in your loss, Paul. My Dad passed two years ago this coming February. Yet memories I/we have chosen to keep will be ours forever. Thank you for sharing a bit of your feelings and love here. Here’s to our Dad’s, forever.

  6. I’m sorry for your loss Paul, your tribute to him is both moving and loving. I’m lucky enough to still have both parents, now into their eighties, but we lost my younger brother 14 years ago so we all appreciate that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. But remember that those who are lost to us never really leave us, they’re with us every single day.

    My thoughts are with you and yours.



    1. Alan, sorry for the late reply. Thank you kindly for your touching comments it’s genuinely appreciated and I’m terribly sorry to hear about your brother, I hope you and your family have found some form of peace. Love to you all, PTB.

  7. A genuine and touching read. You hit the nail on the head; laughter and positive reflection is the best way to embrace and grow from painful circumstances. Your fortitude is duly noted sir and I’m sure your father would be proud. All the best.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I know some of the emotions could you be going through. My father passed away in July. It was also sudden, he was 75. I have a lot of time to reflect now. I wrote the eulogy for his funeral. Not a day goes past where I don’t think about him. Much love to you and your family.

  9. “t’s so sad to think that our parents won’t be around forever but whilst they still are; talk to them, hug them and make sure they know just how much they mean to you.”

    This definitely rings true to the reality we face. There is nothing is powerful as the connections we build with others. We develop this idea that our parents will live forever, but we know deep down the fallacy of this assessment. It sucks to think someone you love so immensely, will have an eventual expiration for their time on earth. Right now, you are holding onto the memories that will maintain your dad’s presence.

    The memories of his humor and the good times, are unable to replace his physical presence. However, holding onto these memories are the best you can do going forward. I see the memories as a catalog of movies, because whenever you want to revisit something about him, you simply revert back to a particular memory. I genuinely wish you and the family well during this time.Remnants of your dad will always remain, because through you, you understand the impact he has made.

  10. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I learned humor from mine as well and share how you’re feeling in this moment. It’s a true gift to be able to laugh in life. All the best.

  11. This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad! 78 sounds young to me. My mother died at age 78–which I’m now approaching, cautiously! Still 6 years to go, but…. What you say is so true: Tell them you love them now. There may not be a later.

  12. i’m very sorry for your loss. Both my parents have passed & I can tell you that you have the perfect attitude & outlook. The last thing your Dad would want is for you to miss something because you were too wrapped up in grief!

  13. My heart goes out to you and your family especially as you enter this new year. Your words just gave a glimpse of your positive spirit. I know your father would be proud to know how you will carry on his memory. My condolences.

  14. You a prankster, I never would have known that about you. lol. Paul aside from working together we share something in common. 2014 will be remembered as the year our dads were taken. Mine six months ago this week. There is a lot of truth to what you wrote, and I know that our dads are proud of the men that we have turned into

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