When I started thinking about Father’s Day this year I just became so depressed. I felt that I don’t have any reason to celebrate Father’s Day tomorrow. Today, I was going through Vic’s photos when I realized that it is not true!
My Dad died on the 21st of May 2011 and Vic’s father died on the 5th of November 1999.
I was single for most of Vic’s young life. For most of her little life my Dad was her Dad. Her Gramps taught her how to play cards and have a night cap….When Gramps had a nightcap he had to mix her a “drink” that had the exact same colouring as his… They adored one another.
Just about the only thing my dad never forgot was that Vic was ill. He could not remember my name, but he remembered Vic was ill. He forgot whether she was in hospital or not but knew she was ill… My Dad was the greatest father in the world. He not only loved his family but cherished us all.
I grew up in a home with a sickly mother. A childhood back injury lead to many years of suffering and a vicious cycle of back surgery, stomach surgery, back surgery, stomach surgery…. My parents taught us that “love” was a verb – love is an action. We lived 1 Corinthians 13 in our home. We were taught to love, honour and respect. My father was the perfect example of what a husband and father should be.
In my single years I received a couple of proposals. My mom pressured me – she really wanted me to remarry… I always said I will remarry when I meet a man like my Dad. And then I did…
From the day we were married Vic called Danie “Daddy”. Danie’s four children were her siblings.
Danie was absolutely amazing with Vic and her illness. When my dad moved in with us, Danie just accepted it as part of our journey. He was incredibly patient with my Dad who suffered from Alzheimer’s. His selfless, caring nature has allowed me to care for my dad and my child; to pursue my career and start-up Stepping Stone Hospice.
Danie was a wonderful dad to Vic. She distinguished between Danie and Tienie (her biological father) by referring to Danie as “Daddy” and Tienie as her father. She absolutely adored Danie. Danie loved Vic as if she was his own.
In the final days of Vic’s life she pleaded with him to not leave her.
A couple of days before her death Vic saw her father… Jared was standing at the bottom of her bed and she said “Look Jared, Oupa Tienie is standing behind you…” Her dad held her hand as she stopped breathing. Her father took her hand as she stopped breathing…
When I packed up Vic’s cupboards I found the cardigan she had bought Danie for Father’s Day this year… This year she will celebrate Father’s Day with her father and Danie will wear his cardigan.
Father’s Day and Mother’s Day were special days for Vic. She loved spoiling and being spoilt!
Vic was desperately ill last year on Father’s Day. I cooked a large family lunch and all the Gauteng kids and grandkids came for lunch. Vic tried to have lunch with us but within minutes she was nauseous. I remember her eyes filling up with tears when she excused herself from the table. “I am sorry Daddy” she said.
Later that afternoon Danie’s eldest daughter lay next to her in bed. They wept together. Danie sat with them filled with grief for the pain Vic was going through.
Danie is an amazing grandfather. He loves Vic’s boys as much as he loves his “biological” grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with them. He is teaching them the value of family, goodness and love!
This beautiful man is more than I deserve. I love him with every fiber of my body. I am grateful to him for the gift of his children and grandchildren every day of my life. I am grateful that he taught me the biggest commandment of all – love!
So tonight I salute two wonderful men. Happy Father’s Day Daddy. Danie, you are my best friend. I love you with every fibre in my body. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful daddy to Vic and grandfather to the boys.
Vic, I hope you have fun in Heaven tomorrow with Gramps and your father. I know you will be surrounded and ensconced in love. We will miss you on Father’s Day and every other day in our lives.