My Dad died two years ago today, Christmas Eve 2011.
He was 96 and died in his sleep and had been in good physical health and perfect mental health until a week earlier.
Dad fought in the Second World War, landing on D-Day, and was decorated before being shot and seriously wounded during the Allied advance through Holland. He was not expected to survive but in fact lived for another 67 years and virtually never had a day off work.
Dad was a lifelong socialist and Queens Park Rangers supporter and was born in Shepherd’s Bush and saw his first match at Loftus Road in the 1920’s and continued to go to QPR matches until he was in his 90’s. We had a 90th birthday party for Dad in a box at Loftus Road. I was taken to my first QPR game at White City when aged 6. We used to discuss at what point Dad stopped taking us to football and we started taking him!
A polite and mild-mannered man, Dad was unwaveringly honest and principled, refusing private medical treatment and refusing to have Sky – or anything Murdoch related – in the house.
He and Mum, who died on New Year’s Day two years earlier, were married for 69 years
People occasionally refer to a parent as being a moral compass. It was only when Dad died that I realized the full meaning and truth of that.
Inevitably Christmas and New Year are tinged with sadness at present, but also with gratitude for my parents’ lives.
I still miss Dad every day.