Jul 18, 2016
My dad left me when I was 7, when I say left me I don’t mean to live in a bedsit like many of the other dads on our council estate, I mean left me. He didn’t want to go but the cancer had got hold of him so he had no choice. Before he went, most afternoons we would talk, mum, who had to look after him all day would send me upstairs to keep him company as soon as I got in from school. He told me about his childhood, about my grandma, and the things they used to get up to when he was a kid. He told me about his dreams and his ambitions for me, how he wanted me to ‘do better’ than him.
Near the end he would get upset and cried a lot. I think he worried about my mum and me and how we would cope without him and that’s when he gave it to me. He was in bed the curtains and his eyes were shut so I thought I’d got away without having to sit with him. “Dad” I whispered as quietly as possible and moved towards the door. “Mark, come here”. My heart sank, I know now to the world today it makes me look mean that I didn’t want to sit with my dying dad, but truth was, all I wanted to do was sit and watch telly like every other kid my age. “I got something for you” he said. I sat down and he told me that because he was probably not going to be there as I grew up, that I would need a superpower to keep me safe. This power wasn’t invisibility or speed or flight, but it is a super human strength that I can summon up when the situation arises. In that bedroom, that afternoon my dad gave me everything. When I am scared and lonely, when I have decisions to make, when I need council, when I need a friend and when I want to be with my dad I close my eyes and summon up my power…
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.