This week is the third anniversary of my dad's death. I was thinking about him the other day (not because of the anniversary; I think about him all the time) and remembering the days when dad was the only man in my life and the only male in an all-girl household (for a while there, even the animals were all female, including the dog, the cows and heifers and 40-odd sheep). He was a bloke, a man of his time: he liked drinking beer and watching sport, playing golf with his mates, hairing around on his motorbike and tinkering in the shed. I used to tease him about being a male chauvinist.
Now I've seen a lot more of the world and had other men in my life, including some real male chauvinists, I can look back and see that actually dad was one of the most sympatico males I have ever known, in his own way. I'm the proof: I believe that I can do anything I want to do and be anything I want to be because he always supported my choices and encouraged me in my endeavours. The phrase, "girls can't do that," was never heard in our home.
I used to wonder what it would be like to have a brother, and for dad to have a son. Whenever he was asked, he always said he wouldn't have it any other way, that his three girls (well, four including mum) were all he ever wished for. And he was telling the truth: we were his children, he loved us unconditionally, and the fact that we were all girls was a bonus.
I miss my dad.