Jimmy & Lionel Portrait

His name is Lionel. He is my Dad. And My Dad’s My Mate. Just writing that makes me smile.

They say communication is the key to success and I reckon that’s bang on. Dad and I can talk about anything these days and I feel very lucky that we have that. We will be sitting down sharing a meal together and he will pause, look at me and say ‘How are you? Everything alright?’. There is a good reason for this, I was not always ‘alright’.

I have suffered depression on and off since I was a teenager. I self medicated with drugs, alcohol and women to get me through. Yep, all the good things. I’ve been told the hardest day of his life was when he and my mother Trish put me into a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

I could reel off story after story about why my old man is a gun but a lot of those are just for us. Good times, bad times, funny times, sad times. He is always there for me.

One of my nicknames for Dad is ‘The Big Easy’. He’s a pretty smooth operator in my book. If I am half the bloke he is when I grow up I’ll be very happy with that.

Thanks for everything Dad, love you.

Your son and mate.

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