We said farewell to my father-in-law today.
He died unexpectedly during the week and he will be missed and remembered fondly by many.
Some of you will remember that Daz’s birth father died a couple of years ago leaving the House of Horrors Hoarding debacle to be sorted out but the man we buried today was his real father in every sense of the word and the man whose surname we carry.
Terry had three children of his own when he married Daz’s mother and became father to her four young children as well. Later they adopted another three kids and over the years fostered 170 more.
He reminded me a lot of my father. They were the same age and they both lived in London as 9 year olds during the war and the bombings and they both moved to Australia as young men to start new lives. They both had the same toughness and attitude that comes from surviving something like that. They would say things; throw out little phrases that only someone else who had been through the same thing would know about. I remember one day I overheard Terry say – got any gum chum – and it was something I’d heard my father say. When the American troops arrived in England the kids used to run along behind the trucks yelling it out and the Yanks would throw them chewing gum. Just stuff like that.
So I’m all out of Dads now.
Terry did love a party and a joke and a drink – I first met him almost thirty years ago and I don’t think I’ve ever spent time with him without there being wine involved, (usually lots of it) so tonight I’m raising a glass or few in his honour.
R.I.P Terry – it was a pleasure knowing you.
You’d be pleased to know that Autumn turned on a spectacular day to see you off.