Well I was kinda hoping the next blog I wrote would be a quick chirp about making two final tables at the IPO in Dublin or the really fun time I had with the PokerNews team in Lithuania last week. Unfortunately real life has got in the way.
My dear old Dad, Brian, died suddenly over the weekend. He was 72 years old but you would never have thought it, he was one of the youngest healthiest guys we have ever met. He’d only been to the doctors once in his life and when we was in the Army never had a sick day. So it was a huge shock to us all when he just died in his chair on Saturday night (Reportedly his last words were slagging off Wagner on X-Factor which I am sure he would have seen the funny side of).
I’m 31 so Dad was a little bit of an ‘older dad’ than the other kids in my class, he was 40 when I was born, so in the last few years I had been a tiny bit anxious about him getting older, not that he gave me any real reason to. My worst fear in life was him dying and I had played it out in my head, I must say it was pretty much exactly how I expected it. I was at a party when Mum rang me and rather than getting upset I just was full of adrenaline and had to get out of there, get to Mum, tell my sister and just generally ‘do’ stuff.
It didn’t hit me until the next day, when my truly amazing Fiancée Gina who had raced all the way from a party in Norfolk to be with me, took me out for a coffee and it just hit me like a ton of bricks.
Dad always said to me that his ideal way to go out would be to be hit by a truck, an instant death he would not even know about, that’s what he got. He didn’t suffer any indignity which I know he would have hated and it is a real comfort to me, because I have seen what it’s like for people who have long painful deaths and it is not pretty.
The messages of support have really helped and in particular, seeing how popular he was and listening to funny stories about him really help. I know 5 or 6 people who considered him like a second father to them and also, ALL of my friends are devastated because he really was one of the lads with all my mates, he really was young at heart, he was the Dad that all my friends could be themselves around and tell rude jokes to.
He was a really welcoming host and would often ‘haze’ my mates who made the mistake of falling asleep when we would stay up late for boxing matches by putting salt in their mouth and watching them wake up grimacing. Watching my Dad put salt in the mouth of my friend Hobson was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, because unlike everyone else he did it too, Hobson didn’t wake up and just gurned in his sleep for the next hour.
I’m really going to miss him whenever there is a funny show on TV, a good boxing match has been announced, something funny happens with my dog or when something goes wrong with my car. Those are all moments where I always instantly reach for my mobile phone to have a natter with him. Dad was a funny, laid back bloke who liked a laugh, liked his boxing, loved his cars, loved dogs (Often we think much more than people) and loved his family. He always made sure we wanted for nothing, taught me not to worry about the big things in life and also how to appreciate the small things in life.
As devastated as I am, it’s really nice to talk about him, write about him and laugh at all the funny things he did. He has already passed on his love of dogs, sense of humour and (force fed me) his love of boxing – if I can emulate him in any other way beyond that then I will be a very happy man.