He Rocked my world, my world was rocked.
It is about 8-9 years ago that my world was rocked with the news that my dad had bowel cancer. You see my dad totally rocked my world. He introduced me to the world of music via Top of the Pops every Thursday. I would watch him play football every Saturday, and he would in turn watch me. We loved our motorcycle sport Speedway and followed the Fen Tigers religiously. I can never remember us falling out, we had an amazing relationship. He was not totally supportive when I got involved in church life and wanted me to get a proper job when I talked about going to Bible College. It was only because he was afraid it would all change me. When I finally became a Pastor he was quite proud, although he never would have told me to my face. We never really talked deep issues and never discussed belief or salvation, or those things you are supposed to reassure yourself with. But it was almost like we didn’t need to. It was never a big issue to me to get him to sign up to some creed. Now this man, this rock, I could end up losing. That thought did not bear thinking about. He grew so thin and weak, his eyes so sad, it was tough living so far from home. But after loads of chemo, loads of care, loads of worry, loads of tears, he pulled through. My rock pulled through, only for a twist of fate to happen and I end up losing my mum to the same cancer in the same place only months later. Devastation. It was during this time we contemplated moving back to Lakenheath to be with dad, but that never transpired. Dad was alone, sad, lonely…
I remember being in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when my dad told me he was seeing someone else. In that initial moment I was so chuffed for him. At last someone to share life with, and also take some of the responsibility off of my shoulders. But the dynamics were not easy, especially when she moved in with dad. Jealous, selfish, losing control. My home changed from the place I could roam around to another woman’s domain, that was tough to handle. But dad was happy and no longer sad and alone. For a while because of the stupid thoughts that run through your head there was a bit of a communication breakdown. We started going for weeks and even months without talking. I felt pushed aside, second fiddle. Immature thoughts and feelings I know, but we all have them. The stupid thing was I wanted dad to myself but was not willing to uproot to be with him. What did I expect? After a while things got better, but still we would go ages without seeing each other. I miss my dad. My rock. But the rock was no longer solid but shifting.
After loads of talk my dad rang last Monday and said he would come to visit that week and stay for a long weekend. It was too long in coming. He arrived on Thursday last week and immediately it was so good to have him around. Because of the short notice we still had our week of work and plans, but overall we just chilled and spent time together in between work and sleep. He had a chance to watch the boys play football, he even came with me to hear me share in a gathering in Aberdare in a small, traditional Independent church (interestingly the place where Bryn and Keri Jones became Christians). It is rare I do any sharing these days but it was good to have dad along. He said all of this made his weekend. The rest of the time we watched TV, especially Match of the Day, ate out for Sunday lunch, and talked about days old and new. People we knew, family, our hopes for our boys. It was a precious time. When dad finally left on Monday morning it was sad and tough to see him go, but my rock had his new life to live with his partner. To think I nearly lost this man does not bear thinking about. Dad, you are loved. I never really tell you that but it is so true. I am just so glad to know you are there.