My Dad is 87 years old, although tells everybody, because he believes it to be true that he is 77! He talks about people who are “getting on” but doesn’t put himself in the same category.

He was christened Kenneth, however, his family call him Jack and my mum’s family and most of his friends call him Mick! He was only known as Ken at his workplace. As you can imagine, this has led to confusion over the years!

Apparently, just after he was born, he was crying in his cot and his Grandfather said something along the lines of “Listen to Jack crying” and so Jack he became.

Mick came about when he first met my mum. There were a gang of lads and my Mum thought she heard someone call my Dad Mick, so that’s what she called him. He didn’t have the heart to tell her any different, until shortly before they were married.

When he was in hospital a couple of years ago, nursing staff and patients were very confused, when all the different visitors trooping in at various times,were calling him by different names. In the end, the nurses put a note over the top of his bed “Ken AKA Mick AKA Jack! Much to the amusement of us all.

To my sister and I he was “Dad”and he was a brilliant Dad when we were growing up. He should have had boys as every night when he came home from work, he would play cricket with us in the garden, take us on bike rides, take us walking, pointing out wildlife and birds nests and such like, climbing trees with us. In the Autumn, we would collect huge amounts of conkers and play endless rounds of conkers!

Talking of conkers, recently, he had a carpet fitted in the spare room, so I was emptying out the wardrobe to make it easier to move. As I was taking stuff out, a load of conkers fell out of the wardrobe, bouncing all over, hitting me on the head, probably about twenty in all. When I asked him why he had a load of conkers stuffed in the wardrobe, he informed that they keep the moths away! Now I don’t know if there is any scientific basis in that, all I know is that I’d never heard it before and nor has anybody else I’ve related the tale to, which is a fair few people!

Christmas was always magical. My poor Dad would be up super early, as my sister and I were awake about 5am. He would light the fire (coal fire, no convenient gas fire) and when he thought it was warm enough, he would call us and we would come thundering down the stairs, giggling and excited and ripping open our presents.

I know it’s an old cliche to say “We didn’t have a lot of money” we didn’t, but we never went without. My Dad worked all week and weekends to provide for his family, because it was what he wanted to do. He never saw it as a sacrifice.

He must have a very special place in God’s heart, as he has had some real close brushes with death and lived to tell the tale.

When I was two, one foggy morning, he went into the back of a bus whilst on his motorbike and he wasn’t wearing a crash helmet! Apparently, he hit the bus so hard, he went straight through the back of it, ending up in the aisle! He had a fractured skull, internal bleeding and my Mum was told to prepare for the worst. What they didn’t count on was my Dad’s incredible stubborn streak. He would not give up, was home in record time, with no long lasting damage and just a small scar on his forehead! (still there today! 54 years later!)

Another time, he got off a train at Barking station. It would have been fine, except he got out of the wrong door and fell straight onto a live line! Not even a scratch! Amazing everybody who witnessed this extraordinary event. That sums him up! Extraordinary! It is little wonder he has earned himself the nickname within his very close circle “Mad Mick!”

He was delighted when he got four grandsons within three years and although they are now all grown up, they all have a very special bond with their Grandad, although they believe him to be extremely eccentric!

Particularly as he told them how originally his family were gypsies, (Kings of the Road as he also told my sister and I) and he used to live in a caravan, travelling all over! They thought it was great, (As we did when we first heard it) even though untrue!

In the last few years, despite having two hip replacements within two years, he has dedicated himself to looking after my mum who sadly suffers from dementia. It is extremely hard work for him, particularly as both my sister and I live so far away. We get there as much as we can and do as much as we can when we are there, to give him a break. Of course he takes complete advantage!! I know how much he enjoys and appreciates it. We do it because we love him. Because he looked after us when we were growing up, now it’s time he was looked after.

He will not accept outside help. Far too stubborn. He once told me, he will always look after my Mum because before she was ill she was his wife, the mother of his children and his best friend. I just loved him for that!

My sister and I take him and my Mum to a cottage on a farm near St. Osyths Essex at least once a year. (He always seems to manipulate us into it, without us even realising!) and he really enjoys it. He loves walking round the farm, talking to the farmer and his wife (he got their life history out of them on his very first visit) and as it is close by to the farm, he loves going to Brightlingsea, sitting outside at the little cafe, in the sunshine, people watching. He always starts chatting to somebody.

So that’s my extraordinary Dad. There are hundreds of stories I could tell and no doubt will in future.

I know God at some point will decide we’ve had the pleasure of his company long enough and that it is now his turn to experience that and I’m sure my Dad will totally reorganise God and Heaven when he gets there!

In the meantime I am so grateful he is here and he is my Dad. He may be known by three different names, but to us who know and love him he is a one off, a very unique man.

Adopt Coaching- 2009

I am compiling an e book dedicated to Dad’s everywhere! If you have a “Dad” story to share, I’d be really grateful for your contribution. It could be your Dad, somebody else’s Dad, you may even be a Dad, willing to share some thoughts and insights. If you would like to be part of it, please e mail me using the contact form on my website. Doesn’t matter how long or short it is, as long as it about Dads! Thanks.

Author's Bio: 

Janet has diplomas in coaching and psychology. She is a registered NLP
(Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner and a member of the
European Coaching Institute. She creates and delivers workshops as well as 121 and group coaching and has over 500 hours personal and business coaching experience.
She has also recently studied for and achieved a diploma in EFT
(Emotional Freedom Therapy) techniques to further enhance her coaching skills.

Janet’s mission statement is:-

“My purpose is to support and guide people, through coaching and workshops, in discovering their unique purpose and natural born talents, by facing and confronting their fears, their lack of self worth and self belief and finding the courage, taking action and overcoming whatever it is that is holding them back from living to their true potential. Then they are able to fulfill their unique destiny, achieving everything they put their minds to, using their natural gifts and talents and having a big life.”