I have a newspaper clipping for a DIY cubby house. From the early 1970s. It was torn from the paper by my daddy, then promptly put in a book he was reading, or somewhere on the bookshelf.
And never built. I was about this old …
My daddy spent a lot of time in his shed. He was always tinkering with things, fixing things and building things (like the 3 storey guinea pig cage with ramps & little cubby houses to hide in – probably from our dog’s curious gaze!) so it’s actually surprising the cubby house was never built.
26 years ago today our lives were irrevocably changed. He was killed in a car accident on his way to collect my little sister and I. Taken in an instant from his young family. Lives altered forever.
While there are days it does seem a lifetime ago, the pain still has a crushing force – particularly for me since Bubba was born. There are so many times I think – or say to her – I wish your grandpa could see you now, or share this with us. Or squish you in one of his huge warm cuddles.
He wasn’t perfect. And I’m sure in his short life there were things he would have done differently given the chance. But he was my daddy, he loved us, he was kind and generous, loved animals, and wouldn’t stand for them being mistreated (which is how we ended up with guinea pigs to start with).
He was a butcher by trade and it’s lucky I’m a vegetarian because to this day – and I only ever go in to buy bones for Bealla and Beary – I get teary when I walk into a butcher shop.
Occasionally – particularly when she’s being cheeky – I see my daddy so clearly in Bubba. I know he is watching over us and keeping us safe - our very own guardian angel.
Maybe I’ll dig out the DIY cubby house instructions in a couple more years and my little sister and I can build the cubby house for Love Bug – in celebration of and dedication to her grandpa?!
This one’s for you daddy. I love you and miss you. Today and every day.