You would have been 82 years old today.
Imagine that, 82! Some how I can't, so you will always be 78 when I think of you.
Bet you couldn't imagine having a daughter that is closer to 50, than 40 either!
I think of you often.
Your serenity & peacefulness while you sat quietly or read a book,
or that positively wicked chuckle when you heard something that amused you.
The quiet but dry sense of humour, often slightly risqué, that enabled you to deliver a one-liner that would have whoever was supposed to hear it trying to suppress laughter.Those that weren't supposed to hear, alerted by the laughter, would be begging you to share.
The ability to see the inner beauty that others had to offer.
Your enjoyment of all the grand kids & your infinite patience with them. Not to mention all the Japanese students that stayed with you & Mum!
The way you willingly went about helping out others, doing whatever had been asked of you & enjoying the process.
You were such a great role model to my boys & they were so blessed to have had you as a Papa for as long as they did.
Jeremy reminds me so much of you, that same dry sense of humour, the brilliant one-liners & the way he goes about things quietly with an attention to detail. He's a hard worker & puts his all into any task set before him, as you did. You & he always had such a lot of time for each other. I know he misses you so much.
If I could change one thing it would be that you had been around to see Kieran after his Basic Training in the Army. He thoroughly enjoys the life & I've never seen anyone so suited to his choice of career as he is - it was the perfect choice for him. He'd enjoy talking your ear off all about it too.
He & Kerry have just brought their first home & are getting married in December. Dad, you'd be so proud of him! I can just imagine the smile on your face.
Michaela is busy being a teenager, trying to find her way through the tumultuous teenage years, much like her Mother before her ;)
Hopefully she will emerge relatively unscathed & a lot wiser. Sooner, rather than later would be good.
I know if you were still here that you'd just be there for her though, non-judgemental & your love unconditional as it always was for me. Wish you'd left some notes on how you achieved that! :)
Gabriela is doing well at school & starts High School next year! Bet that surprises you, because it does me.
She's a great kid & really hasn't changed that much in her countenance from when she was that happy toddler just cruising about with a constant smile on her face. Well, maybe sometimes she isn't quite as easy going & smiley - but hey, she is 13 now.
Mum is fine. She's been through a lot in the last 4 years, but that woman is stronger than I ever could have imagined ..especially for a little chick! She has a wonderful attitude, which has always served her well & it continues to do so. She amazes me sometimes, especially recently with this earthquake fiasco. Even when facing uncertainty as to what will happen with the house she remains positive. But still ,without you walking alongside her it's like seeing only half of the whole.
Life has gone on, but we all still miss you....heaps. I know that my heart isn't the only one that has a big old chunk of it set aside for you.
So, Happy Birthday to the Worlds Best Dad & Papa - Daddy Cool (remember that?). I couldn't have chosen better & I was so very blessed when you chose me.
John Gardner Batten