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  • Writer's picturePapa Bear

Heeeeeeere's Barney!

I saw my dad the other day.

If you know me even vaguely you're probably aware that I lost my dad to cancer a while ago. 16th December 2003 to be precise after the longest six months of our lives. So what the balls are you on about PB? I hear you cry.

It was Christmas Eve morning, I'd just done 4 days worth of gigs in a row, some seeing me in bed as late as 3.30am and with not a massive lie in in sight. I'd just been woken up. At the best of times it takes me a while to finally surface, I tend to allow 30 mins of endless, shrieking alarms to get me out of bed on a school day for example. I sat up, assessed all of the many creaks and achey bits, some being the standard after a nights sleep, some even more pronounced due to work and eventually plodded through to the bathroom for a wee. As I washed my hands I looked into the mirror and it was not my face that stared back but my dad's. His greying hair and more heavily greying beard. His mouth, drawn into a neutral pucker and nestled beneath a far less greying tash. Nose, long and straight, big without being too big for his face or poking out too far to make it look huge. But most of all his eyes. By Jebus, Mary & Dizzy Gillespie, those eyes, they just stared back into my very being, bloodshot and knackered, framed by thick eyebrows and double stacked eye bags, he was there, just looking back at me for as long as I could bear it. And when I finally tore myself away I headed downstairs to a cold cup of tea that someone had lovingly made half an hour ago and I hugged my kids. I didn't mention it, not until later that day and even then only to Mama Bear.

I talk about dad a lot in these ramblings.We were close, I love him dearly and miss him every day. I may pontificate about what he may have thought or done in certain situations, how similar we are, how much I am growing to look like him etc etc but this is the first time that I've ever seen him since the 16th December 2003. It was both massively weird and oddly comforting and I hope that it's not a one off.

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