Remembering Dad


Dad at our wedding in 2009

Sadly on Tuesday 18th April 2017 my dad passed away. He had during his life various health problems. Twenty years ago he had to have his first hip operation. Then he had to have a knee operation and another hip operation on the other leg. After all of these operations he was well and managed to carry on as normal. But then about 12 years ago his first hip replacement broke and he had to go back to hospital. He was in hospital for about four months because every time they tried to fix his hip it kept popping out. In the end they had to wrap a piece of wire around his hip joint and bone to help it stay in. My Dad said his x-ray looked like he had a Christmas Tree inside his leg.

On this occasion he could no longer work and I think this is when life started to decline for my Dad. During his stay in Basildon hospital he contracted MRSA and he was bed-ridden for a period of time so he also developed ulcerated legs. His legs didn’t really clear so he could not move much and he put on weight. A few years ago he then developed sleep apnoea and he had to wear a breathing mask to bed. Finally, last year he had a heart attack and they fitted him with a pace maker. So this lead me to the conclusion that my dad just kept coming back and I started to believe he was like the Terminator. I thought he would come out of hospital with the slogan ‘I’ll be back.’

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My Dad in 1939

The last time he was in hospital they found a lump on his liver and the coroner’s report says he died of liver cancer. At the moment, I’m trying to focus on the positive that he is no longer in pain. I have made a video for my YouTube channel called Remembering Dad which will be posted tomorrow as a thank you to my Dad. I wanted to make it as a memory for Ted to look back upon but I also wanted to write a letter to my Dad. I love him so much and I want to write these memories of him for future reference and again for Ted. So here goes;

Dear Dad,

Today I have decided to write you this letter to celebrate your life and to thank you for being a fantastic father and a wonderful best friend to me. You were a great listener and a good problem solver Dad. I remember evenings when I would sit at the kitchen table with you and tell you about my day. You would always try to help me any way that you could, Dad. That meant the world to me.

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Dad in 1953

Dad, you were a shy man and you were very modest but you were never shy of telling me that you love me and you were proud of me. I feel you thought that having children was one of your biggest achievements in life. You were there at my birth and you were the first person to notice I was a girl. (I was born in 1979 when men were being allowed into the labour ward and there were no scan’s to inform parents of the gender of their child either.) You were so proud of me and my brother Piers. I felt you said this more after my brother died. You would always let me know wherever I was in the world I would always be welcome home. This always gave me great comfort when I went travelling.

I will miss you for your fantastic storytelling ability. When I was about 5 or 6 I remember you reading me the Hobbit. But you didn’t just read me the Hobbit, you did the voices as well. Dad, you made the whole story come alive. I remember feeling really upset at the end of the book and asking you if we could read it again. You were very happy to say yes to this request. It wasn’t until years later that I realised why. You were a massive Tolkien fan and you loved The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I once asked you how many times you had read Lord of the Rings and you said probably about 30! That’s one thing I loved about you Dad was your thirst for knowledge and your love of books.

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National Service 1957

Another passion of yours Dad, was your ability to cook. I remember watching you when I was younger escaping into your own world in the kitchen. You loved being in that room and the kitchen when I was growing up was the heart of the home. We never went hungry as kids, my brother and I. Although, Piers used to say, ‘err, don’t like it’, I’m sure he appreciated the good food on the table as much as I did. You enjoyed feeding people and I felt it gave you great pleasure in doing so. I know that my cooking abilities come from you Dad.

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Me, Dad and Mum

Finally and this I will miss you most for Dad, is your sense of humour and your laugh. You had quite a few bad Dad jokes but when I think of them they make me smile now. The only one I can think of at the moment is, ‘I say, I say, I say, my dog’s got no nose. Your dog’s got no nose. How does he smell? TERRIBLE.’ And I’m now laughing while writing that joke on this blog. When I think of your laugh Dad it really does make me smile. It was a loud, belly laugh that was full of joy and happiness.

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The Gearon-Simms.

So thank you Dad for filling my life with laughter, happiness and joy. You were the best friend that any little girl would have wished for and I was so lucky to have you in my life. I love you Dad and I’m so proud to call myself your daughter. You are and always will be my hero. Goodnight Dad.

Love, your favourite daughter (I always used to write this on cards to my Dad because I’m the only girl, hee, hee!)

Alexis (aka Googie, my nickname as a kid courtesy of my Dad and Nan.)


Remembering Dad will be on my YouTube channel tomorrow.