It’s my Dad’s Birthday. Mentor, Confidant. Legend. Best Friend.
As I get older, I hear your voice ring in my ears more often, more true… and I find me asking myself in quiet moments asking “What would Dad do?”.
People ask me about you Dad.. to tell them who you are.
And although I talk alot (like really… alot 😉… words are few and far!
How do I tell them that you raised two boys as a single dad on your own.
How do I tell them that you you always put us first and never brought the office home
That there was always a home cooked meal in the fridge
And when we came upon troubles… you’d somehow build a bridge
That you made our lunches everyday for school
And took us for karate and swimming lessons at Rachel Finlayson pool
How do I tell them that you read us bedtime stories every night
How do I tell them Dad that you made the stories up when you wanted to turn off the light
That you took us to the library every Saturday for years
That reading and studying was important but so was fishing and beers
That you taught me life is tough, hard, unfair, and not to expect different
That opportunity waits for no man, so work hard and make a statement
How do I tell them Dad about how you taught me to be humble
How even when we lost our Beemer, the divorce, and no job… you did not crumble
That you never cried about your losses and just got on with the task at hand
That every day I wonder, because of watching you, how I can be a better man
That you never told me of your troubles and how it must have felt for you
To come to a new country, few connections, in your mid forties and start again, brand new!
How do I tell them Dad about how you took life’s troubles never to seriously
How it’s never too tough with some good friends and 12 year old Chivas on Ice whisky
That you always said its important to remember, where we came from, our roots and our history
And when expressing your love and gratitude to friends, that that should never remain a mystery
That you taught me the importance of our heros like JFK, Mandela and Ghandi
And not to forget in the same breath Pele, Bruce Lee and Muhammed Ali
How do I tell them Dad that when I got hit and bullied to not tell the teacher
But to hit them in nose, the guts and then the nuts after school behind the bleacher
How do I tell them Dad, How do I tell them who you are…
The man that’s molded me from near… and even more so now from afar
That you drove regularly from Toongabbie to the North Shore on Old Windsor Road
Because your son had Asthma, in the winter cold and the nebuliser was old
That I was so sickly, that we knew the first names of the Drs Stiles, Ward and Tiwari
And if I wasn’t so sickly, you’d probably be driving a Ferrari!
How do I tell them Dad, about ALL the memories we’ve had together
How do I tell them that you’ve had my back, in good or bad weather
That you helped me buy, and paint that first investment property in Parramatta
That I should always save for a rainy day, forget “The Secret”, “That shit doesn’t matter!”
From the runs on the beach every weekend in Durban Beach front to Blue Lagoon
To the road trips to Brisbane, Melbourne and Barossa…man, they always ended too soon
How do I tell them Dad about about keeping the tradition of the Mahilall Turkey Xmas Lunch
Even the year Dhaneel went raw vegan and you said “watkind, this lightie needs a punch”
That Mahilall’s never skimp on food, no matter how rich or poor we are
Health, family and love are first, so don’t worry about the car
That you told me to stay focused, don’t worry about what everybody one else is doing
To look out for yourself, question intentions yet have faith, trust and keep pursuing
How do I tell them dad that you never actually gave me any real love advice
But i learnt from watching and eavesdropping and you treating the ladies nice!
Do you remember the Valentines Day advice you gave me in Standard 3 with Yurana Valjee
Didn’t think you would, cos it didn’t work and I think she vied for an Overport Outie!
And during those formative teenage years, you never forced me or told me what I should do
You always guided, advised and have graciously said, “I have faith in you”
How do I tell them Dad, that you are my first hero, my mentor and and my muse
That no other father given the choice, would I ever choose
I love you heaps and heaps Dad, live large and I know you’ll enjoy today
Even though I wrote this poem, words will never come close to what I have to say !
This attempt at poetry, does not do you one iota of justice
Hallmark didn’t have a card that said “Old Ballie still causing a ruckus!”
Love you always Dad! From Kresant and Dhaneel.
Enjoy the holiday, see you soon and have a double single malt for me