Daddy Cool!

May 9, 2012

  Mary Snyder wisely said “To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all, but to believe in the unseen is a triumph and a blessing.”  Another great quote on faith and belief is from Clarence Smithison who stated “Faith is the ability to see the invisible and believe in the incredible and that is what enables believers to receive what the masses think is impossible.”

There are many many examples of  unseen belief and faith. Roger Bannister’s greatest achievement (apart from being the first man to run the mile in under four minutes of course) was that he had the faith and belief that he could do it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. He was told that his lungs would burst, his muscles would turn to mush if he were to attempt it, it had never been done because it was “impossible”, yet he believed he could and did! The Wright brothers believed a machine could be built that people could fly in and despite the prophets of doom and gloom, succeeded, even though it was deemed ”impossible!” 

And so we come to my dad. Now my dad is a total one off! A very unique man! Eccentric, stubborn, individual, never follows the crowd, has always done his own thing and always, always gets his own way through gentle persuasion (manipulation!) You really are not aware that he is doing it, until you realise you have been had, hook, line and sinker! He has great charm, a wicked sense of humour, is strong in mind and body and has great faith, values and belief in family, the world, people and God. And he is a real fighter!

He has somehow been watched over during the years. He survived a horrific motor bike accident in which he went through the back of the bus with no crash helmet on, even though little hope was given. This was back in the fifties, so serious head injuries usually proved fatal as there was not the technology or expertise available then as there is today.

Another time, the train he was on pulled into Barking station, where my dad was getting off, which he did and fell straight onto the railway line, as he’d got out of the wrong side! He missed a live electric rail by inches and was also very fortunate not to get hit by a train coming the other way!

There were also various incidents during the war,  including a bomb being dropped resulting in buildings and people being destroyed and my dad left standing without a scratch and an aircraft crash which he walked away from, despite the rest of the crew being seriously injured or killed.

For many years, my dad looked after my mum as she had alzheimers, which he did willingly as he loved her so much. The last couple of years it became more difficult for him as a second hip replacement left him with mobility problems, plus other complications as a result of the operation meant his memory and perception began to deteriorate. Sadly, my mum died last year and my dad settled into living alone and adjusted to it well.

In November last year, he suffered a blood clot on the lung,  the second one he’d had in five years. He spent two months in hospital and on his release, it was apparent he would be unable to look after himself, so went into care, where again he settled very quickly, becoming a firm favourite of the staff.

Last week, I went down to Essex to clear his house. in itself a traumatic event as it had been the family home for fifty eight years and went to visit my dad as soon as I arrived. I was informed that my dad had developed bronchial pneumonia, was very poorly and as he was ninety years of age, was not expected to last more than a few days. They had already phoned to say he was not well, however he was considerably worse. The doctor asked if we wanted to hospitalise him, which my sister and I declined, the doctor agreed with us, saying that the level of care he was getting at the home was excellent. He was on what is known as a “TLC” plan, which is exactly what it says. Lots of tender loving care and treats.

Now on first being told this, I totally believed he would be ok, that was my instinct, it was only when the doctor gave his opinion that I began to doubt it and that’s when the tears and upset began. Big mistake!

Because of course, nobody reckoned on my dad not doing what he was expected to do!  He was not ready to go!  Not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil! Despite all the evidence pointing to the inevitable outcome, my dad’s faith and belief said otherwise. He does not believe it is the end and needless to say, he has rallied, much to everybody’s amazement except his naturally!

In fact the care staff are sort of rueing the fact they told him he could have anything he wanted, as he has had them out buying cream cakes and shepherds pies from Morrisons (as he really likes them with brown sauce) plus endless cups of tea, sweets and loads of other treats! As one of the carers said “Think we may have made a rod for our own backs, telling him he could have what he wanted as he was poorly” and knowing my dad so well, I agree totally!

Whether my dad goes on for another few months or another few years is not the point. The point is his faith and belief are keeping him here! That is where his strength comes from! That keeps his heart pumping, his blood circulating and his breathing in and out!

So anytime the evidence tells you what is not possible, just think of my dad and have the faith and belief that yes it is! Anything is possible!!

P.S. The photograph of my dad was taken by me on his 90th birthday 1st April 2012. He’s certainly no fool though!*

Janet Wilks 2012  –

* Sadly, since I wrote this, my Dad decided it was time to go. He passed away on June 15th 2012 at 2pm in the afternoon aged 90 years. I was with him when he died and it was very peaceful. Needless to say he has left a huge gap in the lives of all of us who loved him.  He was a very special, unique, man and I am so proud and lucky he was my Dad.



8 Comments for this entry

  • avatar jennyrcooper says:

    What a delightful post, thank you for sharing your dad and his faith and courage with us.
    It is so easy to lose perspective when things go wrong, and now we have your dad as an inspiration. When my computer goes wrong at critical moments, I shall think of him, perhaps he can work his charm and magic on it?

  • avatar Tilla Brook says:

    hi Janet

    Your dad sounds like a model for living a full life, rich in the values of family, connection, mischief, determination, love, surprise and adventure.

    Our families are here to teach us life’s lessons, both wonderful ones and the painful ones. Our job is to be open to the learning. Both you and your dad clearly are.

    • avatar janetwilks says:

      Hi Tilla
      Bless you! Life was always an adventure with my dad when we were young!People also say I am very much like him! Particularly on the eccentric and stubborn front!

  • What a great example of mind over matter your father certainly has had a guardian angel looking over him.

  • avatar Sarah says:

    A lovely, touching post that made me think of how wonderful my own parents are. Thank you Janet. Sarah x

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