Sunday, 15 June 2014

Papa was a Rollin' Crohn

My Dad is a private man. He doesn't 'do' gossip or social networking. As far as he goes in caring about other people's business is wondering why the woman across the road hasn't taken her bin out yet and why has that car been parked at number 42 for 2days..? 
He doesn't discuss illness as a general rule. Doesn't ever have anything wrong with himself and HEAVEN FORBID we would mention it if he did. Myself, I've chosen not to adopt that attitude towards my own illness however, instead going down the route of openness and honestly whenever possible. That doesn't mean I don't respect his choices, because I most certainly do. 
My own transition from complete shock and despair at having Crohn's Disease to sharing it with the rest of the world didn't happen overnight of course. I still struggle from time to time to be as truthful as I'd like about what my condition stops me from doing and how it can affect my life. 
My Dad, let's call him Richard,  because that's his name, has bestowed a glimmer of this private attitude on me that I tried to initially shy away from (for want of a better word). I didn't think there was any shame whatsoever in talking about my condition. I was frustrated others didn't feel the same, and overly defensive that people would have the gall to so much as wince at the idea of me having a bowel disease.

However I now appreciate there are certain things I DO hold back. I don't blog about my family or my relationship, and that's mainly because it's MY choice to write about my life, not theirs. They didn't sign up to have details of their life all over the interweb too and I have no right to do so. It's out of love and respect for their opinions and privacy that I wouldn't. I'm only making a small exception to this rule today because it's Father's Day and I love my Dad more than all the cats in existence put together. (which, let's think about that for a second, WOULD BE AWESOME). 
Due to my Dad's penchant for not talking about 'this sort of thing' I appreciate how hard it must've been when his only daughter became ill. I'm ashamed to say that first I was inwardly a little angry with him. I thought perhaps if we had all been more open and honest about out health and everything that goes along with it, maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to find out what was wrong with me. Those feelings didn't last long, because it really made no difference to my situation; I was stuck with Crohn's whether I liked it or not, nothing my Dad or anyone else could say now (or then) could change that fact. It's no ones 'fault' I have this disease.
I'm proud of the aspects of my Dad's personality he's been kind enough to pass on to me. In particular his sense of humour, which is both incredibly witty and has a beautiful sense of the ridiculous. Even in his 70's my Dad can still make me laugh until my sides ache. I still tell people about his one-liners years down the line. He is strong willed, adores my Mum, he is fiercely intelligent and protective of my brothers and I. 
I know how hard it's been for him to understand my condition and I will never be angry about that because he WANTS to understand and that's all I need to know. 
Happy Fathers Day to my beloved Dad, The Rickmeister. Love to all of your Dad's and to those of you without today x 


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