Today, my dad is 60. Happy birthday daddy!
I'm going to let you into a little secret; I've had a horrible time trying to choose a birthday present for my dad.
I really wanted a meaningful gift (rather than a useless bit of tat with 60 scrawled over it that would soon be forgotten about whilst simultaneously cluttering up the place) and I only had a small budget with which to find one. It shouldn't have been that hard a task should it? Aargh!
Although I eventually settled on a gift, it's not the ultimate birthday present I was dreaming of for him. But I recently realised that's because what I really wanted to give him isn't a tangible, material object, it's what's in my head and my heart when I think about him.
So dad, if you're reading this; I love you!
When I think back over the years, there are certain memories that jump out at me:
- Burying you in the sand on our holidays in Wales
- Getting the dinghy out whenever we went to the seaside
- Exploring your shop, which seemed like an Aladdin's cave of wonder and mystery to the (much) younger version of me!
- Watching the Tour de France with you
- Mammoth Sunday bike rides
- Hanging on for dear life on the back of your motorbike
- Scrubbing the Sunday roast tins with Jif
- Sliding around in the back of that old Jag you loved (but which made me feel really car-sick)
And while there are lots of memories that make me smile and laugh, there is one in particular that fills me with a very different emotion...
All my life you've been passionate about music and I can't put into words how incredibly proud I am that at "a mature age", you learnt to play the guitar and then threw yourself so wholeheartedly into singing and playing in a band as well as running a local open mic night and organising other music events. You may not do all of those things now but I will forever think of you as my father, the rockstar!
And this is why I struggled to choose a birthday gift for you; because what means something to me isn't a "thing", it's the memories conjured up by the music we've shared and the music to which you've introduced me. And this song here is, randomly, the one that means the most to me:
I'm going to stop now because I've made myself cry! Just, Happy Birthday! You mean the world to me xx