Andrew & Chris Portrait

Whilst writing this I'm trying to think of one defining moment in our relationship, but I'm finding it very hard to pinpoint one exact moment or action. I feel I have learnt lessons from Dad that you cannot easily teach; respect, compassion, determination and most importantly not taking yourself too seriously. The laughs my brothers and I have with Dad would probably be what stands out most. He is a bit of a smart arse and loves to joke around, not in a malicious way but in friendly, easy going way that makes everyone around him feel welcome and loved.

Growing up I was fortunate enough to live in a great part of the world and had a solid education. Of course I did not see this at the time and yes I took it all for granted being a punk teenager, but it has been in the later years that I have come to realise how much my Dad sacrificed to allow my two older brothers and I to have such an fortunate up bringing.

Mum and Dad used to own a restaurant in the City where Dad was the head chef / Manager. He would work 14 hour days drive over an hour home late at night and be up the next morning cooking us up some pretty amazing food for breakfast, as this was pretty much the only the time of the day we would get to catch up. He would never admit this but he is a better cook than yo mumma and grandmumma combined, I was spoilt rotten with the food I had growing up. Of course, at the time all I wanted was some greasy pizza or Fish and Chips, so I did not really appreciate what Dad was really doing for me in making sure I did not become another one of the fat kids at school.

Dad would spend every chance he could with us, when we were all younger. This mostly happened on the weekends and was usually centred around sport, which was always big in our family. To make it even more difficult for Dad my brothers and I all played different sports that would take us all over the state on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. I can remember in my early days, Dad would drive me to Basketball every single game, the unfortunate thing was that I sucked, like i'm talking 2 points scored in my first 4 seasons and probably touched the ball 5 times, Dad would be on the sidelines cheering me on no matter what, even when I accidentally scored for the other team. He persisted with me and supported me every step of the way and reminded me to have fun and keep pushing, I now live and breath basketball and have stopped scoring for the other team, so thank you Dad for supporting me and sticking with me through that one!

I do not want to sound spoilt here, in knowing what Dad has done for my brothers and I growing up, but I would not really want to change anything in our relationship, of course we would have loved to spend more time with him growing up, as it was always filled with laughs and good times, but I think we are all making up for it now, even if it is just a phone call for a quick catch up, or jumping in the surf with Dad and laughing at each others wipe outs. As my brothers and I all go our separate ways, Dad still has a huge impact in our lives and will be forever shaping who we are. I could not think of anything much more valuable than this.

I think it hurt Dad at times when he was not around all the time to see us all grow up, for us though we knew no different.

Like I said it is only know I realise what he has done for my brothers and I. We are all forever grateful for this, and there is no amount of gratitude we can give to Dad that will make up for it. But to him that's not important, because he puts other people in front of himself all the time. If there is one thing I can do for him it would be to give him back the same love he has given me, and damn he has set the bar high for us! If I ever become even half the man he is I will be a very happy person.

Back to top