This year my Dad retires from over 40 years as a barrister. He'll be hanging up his wig and gown at the end of August for the final time, leaving behind many MANY years of litigation for a road of relaxation, photography and his beloved rugby.
As his career draws to a close, I wonder where one begins to review those working years, and how do you even begin a new life as a retiree? It's a major leap especially for a man who worked so hard. But even when his workload weighed heavy his family always came first. I remember the lengths and the drama that would lead to his attendance at major events like school plays, confirmations and parent teacher meetings, always it seemed by the skin of his teeth, but there he was nonetheless. At Valentines Day he would often be out of town on circuit, but would send us cards with the worst cover up handwriting ever, thank goodness he didn't try his hand in the spy game. Every Sunday, my sisters and I would write him letters, promising good behaviour and that we would do our homework and listen to Mummy. We probably wrote the same thing every week to him, but after our lamb roast, up we went to secretly tuck our notes into his luggage, while he would do the exact same, with notes popped under pillows to enjoy just before bed.
But although his work kept him away a lot when we were kids, his loyalty to us, his work and his faith is one trait that will keep him in my highest esteem. He has the respect of everyone I know and that makes me so very proud. Proud as punch actually.
So in celebration of Father's Day in Ireland, I would like to raise a glass to my Dad. A father, a grandfather, a man full of love for his wife, kids and grandkids. Often silent in emotion, he shouts loud with his sentiment, and for that, I will always be grateful. x
|I just love the tender moment caught between Dad and his Mum. The day is his first as a barrister, known as being 'called to the bar'.|