A few years ago, more than a few actually, probably around 1995, my father was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy – basically his heart was wasn’t beating correctly and getting the blood to all the places it needed to be quickly enough.
It isn’t a curable disease, but it’s one that can be lived with, with sufferers leading ‘normal’ lives if on the correct medicine. There were some funny side effects caused by the medicine that he had to take. One of those was caused by Warfarin, an anti-coagulant found in rat poison. For those that don’t know, anti-coagulants basically stop the blood from clotting, as well as thinning it out. This mean that dad’s heart could pump the blood around much better.
Unfortunately this also meant that if he cut himself, he didn’t stop bleeding for a longtime. Usually this wouldn’t matter, but one day he managed to get a nose bleed, which just didn’t stop. In the end he went to hospital. Okay, not funny so far I know. What was funny was that in order to stop the bleeding, they basically stuffed the medical equivalent of a tampax up his nose, with a drawstring that they taped to the side of his face. Now that had me laughing for ages and – even as I type and feel the usual ‘I wish you were still here pangs’ – it brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.
In 2005, two weeks to the day after my first daughter was born, dad suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly. Obviously this was a little hard to take at the time, and I still get quite upset on the odd occasion – like now – when I think about that day. The effects of that have lasted a long time, and still are if I’m quite honest.
Fortunately I’ve moved out of the anger phase – where you rant and rave at them for leaving – and the good memories are starting to come back. I sometimes dream of him, but have yet had a chance to have a proper conversation with him like others have with their departed loved ones and I look forward to that day if it comes.
However, that brings me nicely(?) to my point. There’s a reason that people support charities, and that’s usually because there is a personal connection. I for one support the BHS, my family is constantly taking stuff down to the charity shop near us for them to sell on, and we nearly always come back with something. We also always make a point of popping into the shop whenever we’re near as we find it’s great for steampunk material and things we can use to craft with.
I have two beautiful girls, one whom was held by my father, and the other who has never met him, and I would do anything to protect them. So I also support the NSPCC, not much as I started to support them when I was unemployed, but I still donate.
Those that know me, will know that I’ve always been interested in the armed forces and that I have friends who have served, are serving and who died in service. As such I’m hoping to support Help For Heroes next year with a couple of events. This also ties in to another charity that I wrote about a couple of days ago, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
All of these charities benefit from me because I feel a personal connection with them in some way. All of them are doing their best to help people in Britain live better lives, and all of them are working towards healing those that they help.
So, if you can, find a charity that you can connect with and donate. It doesn’t have to be much, and you can ignore all the bloody annoying letters that get sent to you asking for more money – I do, they go straight into the bin and I curse them for wasting my money – and know that you’re doing something, no matter how small to help someone else. All without having to get off your arse if you like!
Any way, time to dry my eyes and drink the cup of tea that my eldest just brought to me and get ready to teach my Taekwondo class.
Merry Christmas dad. Love you.
Well said Matt, and hope you get a chance to revisit some happy family memories of your Dad over Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Thanks, have a great Christmas:)