Saying Goodbye to my Dad

Hi all, just a friendly warning, this is not a typical blog post from me… I haven’t told all that many people yet that my Father died almost 3 weeks ago. It’s only in the last few days I have felt more able to be open about it. He had been fighting cancer since November last year, and had been responding to chemo remarkably well, so it was a bit of a shock to say the least. I flew out to Zante, Greece a few weeks ago (where he has been living with my step mother, Sue, for 12 years) for his funeral, and was bowled over by just how many friends turned up for the funeral and wake. He was clearly well liked, loved and respected in the little town where he lived. I heard more than a few funny stories during the wake, from many people I did not know, however there was no mistaking they were talking about my Dad… I wanted to write this blog as a final goodbye, if you like. A big thanks to my friends and family who have known the news, and have been very supportive. I said a few words during the wake, I thought some of you might like to read it…   Rob, Bob, Robert, or to me; simply Dad. He always called me Matey. I got to really like that for some reason. If you got to know my dad only after he moved to Greece, you will no doubt know about some of his best attributes: His lightening quick, razor sharp wit and wicked sense of humour… It was a quickness I always admired, aspired to, and laughed at, even if I was the target… His love of Formula 1 and the football. His love of Beer and fags. His love of Beer, fags, Formula 1 and the football. But not necessarily in that order! His love for Sue. I know how much he loved you Sue. Never forget that. Use it to give you strength to live the rest of your life to the full. It’s what Dad would want… Now, I knew Dad long before Greece, obviously, and some other great attributes were obvious to me, that might not have been obvious if you only knew ‘retired’ Greek Rob… He could turn his hand to just about anything… He installed a gas combi boiler on his own. No formal gas fitter training. I cannot imagine going near one, can you? The plumber signed it off as safe, no worries… I find that astounding. He made his own fan forced radiator for the master bedroom, powered by the self installed gas boiler…  I wish I had a photo to show you! He was a perfectionist painter & decorator. The creator of everlasting wallpaper. The walls at grans are what, 20 years old now? No peeling in sight… I have Dad to thank for having the confidence to start my own Plastering company on 2005. Dad asked me to skim a small wall for one of his Painting & Decorating clients. He knew I was only learning at the time. As far as I knew Dad painted the wall and got paid, that was the end of it. Only years later did he mention just how much filling and sanding he had to plough into that wall before he could paint it! I thought I’d done a cracking job and carried on plastering happily! He was a perfectionist and proud gardener and had an awesome vegetable plot that I have fond memories of helping with. I’ve not so fond memories of the day I stepped on a rake mind you… He was a perfectionist model toy painter… I had the best painted Airfix planes in England. To me he was Dad the keen Scalextric enthusiast, only as an adult did I look back at the track setup and figure out it was him having more fun with it than me. Perfect trees, tunnels, smoke machines, the lot… Yes, my Dad was a perfectionist. I am proud to say this is one of his best attributes that have rubbed off on me, along with the quick wit of course! It’s hard to believe I’m not going to hear one of your witty remarks again Dad. I am glad that you are no longer in pain though, I do take some comfort from that. Thanks for helping to make me who I am Dad. Love you, Matey Steve Gerrard Photography 2015-03-19_0002 2015-03-19_0003 2015-03-19_0004   Wedding photo (top one) credit to Steve Gerrard Photography