Sunday, 21 June 2015

A letter to my dad

Dear Dad (Olive),

We're not really that great at being soppy are we (although you're getting much more emotional as you get older!), but I wanted to write you a little something seeing as I couldn't be there with you today for Father's Day.

When I was little I thought that all daddies did what you did: cooked for us, ferried us around everywhere, read us bedtime stories, ironed our clothes, decorated our bedrooms every few years; all while holding down a stressful full-time job. You even occasionally came into Claire's Accessories with us girls. But as I got older I began to realise that you were a bit of a Super Dad. You knew how to fix anything (except our hair... you could never master the art of a ponytail as much as you tried) and went far and beyond your duties as a father.

That was until I became depressed. You couldn't fix me, however hard you tried. Nobody could. But again you helped me put the pieces back together - you held me while I cried, you supported Mum in the way that nobody else could, you even found me that day I ran away when nobody else knew where I was. You became the glue that held us all together as a family, and I couldn't wish for any more than that. That was why I was so scared the day you were taken into intensive care. We couldn't lose you - that was the most terrifying thought I have ever had. We needed you so much, just like we always have done.

But then things got so much better. Our family became even stronger, and for that I am almost glad for my depression, and for you being in hospital. I think we have come to appreciate how lucky we are to have each other and that's why our holiday in Italy last year was so special.

I have learnt so much from you in the nearly 22 years I have known you. You have taught me to be strong, to not give up, and to fight for what I want. You have always believed that I could do anything I wanted to do, and without yours and Mum's support I would never be doing medicine now. You are one of the reasons that I want to help people, and why I don't hesitate to put others' needs before mine, because this is what you have always done. And I think one of the biggest things you have given me is laughter. You are one of the funniest people I know (although your jokes can be a bit ridiculous at times), and even in my lowest periods you have given me hope that things can get better. That laughter and happiness is possible.

And another thing that is amazing is your cooking. I miss your Saturday night meals so much when I'm away at university, and always look forward to them when I'm home (I'll admit it, you are most definitely a chef, not a cook).

You have given us lots of childhood adventures, including taking us off on walks down random paths 'just to see where it goes', and usually your intuition was right and we'd come out somewhere beautiful - except when you took us to that smelly bog whilst looking for water. That wasn't great. But a lot of my childhood memories are formed from you doing something silly to make us laugh, like a stupid dance or wearing a pair of pants on your head, or shaving half of your hair off. Or the time the turkey bit you on the bum, or just anything involving Mr Blue.

Everyone always thinks you're such a cool dad to have, but if they knew you like I did they'd know you're soppy at heart (and a big kid most of the time). You really are one of the most special and individual people I know, and I genuinely am so proud to call you my dad. Here's to so many more happy Father's Days to come.

I love you so much.
One of the best feelings in the world is to know that your parents are smiling because of you.


  1. This is such a beautiful letter, Hannah! Your dad will be proud to have an amazing daughter like you xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge