no more dads

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.



22 thoughts on “no more dads

  1. What a lovely tribute. I am sorry for you and Daz. What an incredible couple they were, all those children and then to reach out to even more troubled ones. If you are a believer in a heaven, I am sure he would be there.

    • They foster kids were all babies (mostly born to heroin addicted mothers or mothers unable to care for them) and there were many they would have loved to have kept but who ended up being adopted out to other people. I don’t know how I feel about heaven at the moment – I have my doubts.

    • Yes – we’re lucky and grateful that it’s all played out in that order, the way it should. Not sure if I want it to play out like that with my siblings though – I’m the youngest so I’ll be the last one here :0

  2. Oh, my condolences to you and Daz and all the many people whose lives he touched. He sounds like a wonderful man, and this is a really nice tribute to him (which has got me choked up now).

    • It’s amaxing really how many lives he did touch. He was 82 but you didn’t think anything of seeing him pushing a pram or being the father of a 15 year old.

  3. Oh, sad. I’m sorry for yours and Daz’s loss. I’m also sorry I never got to meet your father-in-law and your father, based on what you’ve written about them. They sound like they were both characters, fun to be with, but strong and stern when the time demanded it.

    My father mentioned little boys in Germany and Belgium saying to him “Got any gum, chum?” It must have been a catchphrase for kids in Western Europe following the war. Dad was a military policeman, assigned to guard the trains transporting military supplies between Antwerp and Munich. As a perk he often received extra packages of gum, candy, and cigarettes. He didn’t have much use for any of it at the time, so he gave it all away, making him very popular with the local kids. (And the young women: who didn’t like a man who handed out free cigarettes?)

    • Or stockings. I think a soldier could get a long way if he had a few pairs of nylons in his pocket.

      The Brits had mixed feelings towards the Americans when they turned up but my father always said all the troops were very good to him and his mother – Brittish and American. They lived near a base that experienced a lot of heavy bombing and he said soldiers would often turn up during the worst of it with a pot of tea or soup or take him to town for a haircut.

  4. Condolences. Looks like he led a wonderful life and died a wonderful death too, without ailing (too much). R.I.P.

    • Isn’t it! I don’t see much of an Autumn – not cold enough where I live but this was just over an hour away in a valley and the whole area was just beautiful. Cold mind you.

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