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I’m writing this on Sunday evening, I expected to be in bed by now, it’s about 10.30pm and I’m pretty tired.

About half an hour ago the home phone rang, it was late but I wasn’t worried as Gareth’s Dad lives abroad and sometimes calls at odd hours. However, it was my Mum, she was calling to let me know my Dad has had a mini-stroke. She said he was OK, his speech was affected but he was otherwise OK.

We spoke briefly but she had to get off the phone so that she could call my sister.

My Mum and Dad are no longer together, they separated about 20 years ago, when I was a teenager. They’ve remained friends though. My Dad is now living in Sussex, about 6 hours drive from me in my old van. Tonight my Dad is in hospital for what must be his first ever over night stay on a ward and he’s probably quite freaked out by that.

My Dad is typical of any little girl’s Daddy I suppose. To me, he’s tall and strong, he can fix things and make things, he drives well and reads maps and only ever gets lost in London. He tells stupid Dad jokes and does a very silly impression of Yogi Bear. He’s at the end of the phone whenever I need him and has helped me move house about a billion times. He’s hurt me in the past, but never intentionally and was heartbroken when I told him. He’s quietly spoken and handsome and thinks he’s a bit of a lady’s man. Someone must have told him once that he has a passing resemblance to Sean Connery, he loves this, I tell him he’s mistaken.  He flirts outrageously, I warn my friend’s about him before they meet him. I love him rather a lot.

After my Mum called the phone rang again. It was my big brother. We haven’t spoken in two years. My brother and I had a discussion about something in our past that seemingly couldn’t be repaired, I said I needed to stop contact with him if it couldn’t be repaired. But I always knew that if I ever really needed him he would be there. Tonight he was organised and reassuring and it was like there had never been an issue between us. I don’t know what has shocked me more, the news about my Dad or hearing from my brother.

All I can think of now is getting to my Dad, I can’t stop crying. I want to hold his hand and tell him I love him. I want him to promise me he will stop working seven day weeks and take care of himself. I want to tell him that none of the shit he’s been stressed about matters. None of it. I don’t want to see my Dad ill or in hospital. I want him to be my Daddy and to give me a hug and to tell me that he loves me no matter how I screw up. But then he doesn’t need to, because I know it to be true.

I just hope I can get to him soon.

Monday morning: After I wrote this last night my Dad called me from hospital, he sounded bright and positive. The stroke was small and he is little affected, his speech sounded normal aside from the odd slur. I am so relieved he has friends that got him to hospital and he is being looked after, I just hope he takes his time and allows himself the time and space to get better.

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