I don't really know how to start this post.
When I started my blog and YouTube channel, I did it because it was a time in my life when I didn't have a lot to focus on. I couldn't go into teaching, I was horribly ill (yet no less ambitious) and, as a result, terribly sad. Particularly with my YouTube, it gave me motivation, a focus and regained confidence. I was so blown away by so much support from you all and remember coming downstairs at every milestone and excitedly telling my Dad "You won't believe it, I have 100 subscribers!", and even more unbelievably, 1000 and then 5000 - and I am so incredibly grateful. It was something I did once or even twice a week, and then I stopped. And I think everyone who has supported something that has helped improve my life so very much deserves some sort of explanation.
The long and short of it is - my lovely Dad, my best buddy, died. And my world is falling apart.
On our family holiday to Turkey my Dad became very ill. What we thought was initially a chest infection, then possibly a very bad chest infection was clearly emerging as something more serious as Dad could barely leave the hotel room or lift his head off the pillow.
We visited the GP the very first Monday we were home and soon after he was admitted to hospital for further tests, with no one quite telling us what they were testing for. Almost two weeks later we were told, by Dad, that he had early stage lung cancer that was probably treatable. Even in the worst times, my Dad tried to protect us from everything. The same week we were taken aside by Mum and told that, in fact, he had the rarest, fastest spreading small cell lung cancer and that it had pretty much spread everywhere. We hoped the worst case scenario was that this would be my Dad's last Christmas. In fact, after two very hard weeks at home, little over a month after we came home unawares from our family holiday, my Dad passed away.
As a family, we were nauseatingly happy. Real best friends who, even at mine and my sisters ripe ages of 25 and 22, still went on family holidays together and made time to eat dinner together every night, laugh and joke with each other. And my Dad was literally the best Dad. The kind of Dad who's big warm bear hugs made you feel instantly better. Who noticed when something was wrong, took your problems onto his own shoulders and sorted them out for you, so you never had to worry about anything. The kind of Dad who was always on the other end of the phone. I could go on and on.
In so many ways, it still doesn't feel real. I still wait for him to walk down the drive, returning home from getting a newspaper. I still go to shout "Bye Dad!" when I'm walking out the door to work, or start a new text to him when something funny happens. I find no comfort in 'At least he's not in pain anymore' or 'He's in a better place'. Those are not my beliefs and they were not his. He was a man who stopped at the bus stop at the bottom of our hill to take the OAP's waiting there back up the hill with him. A man who went round to the elderly lady next door to help her put her eyedrops in twice a day and make her a tea. The kind of man who took my elderly blind Grandad shopping twice a week, every week. That kind of man never deserved the pain in the first place. He never deserved to leave this happy life when there are so many laughs he had yet to have.
I find writing a good form of therapy and I'm sure one day I will write about how hard it is to care for someone you love with cancer, how bloody weirdly we as a society deal with death or anything else that might raise awareness or help other people. Maybe one day I will start up my YouTube channel again and speak of the mindless happiness a new mascara brings.