My Dad

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Jack Parker (1933-2017)

I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting my blog these past few weeks but on Thursday 21st December 2017 my dad, Jack Parker, passed away. He went into hospital for a day and ended up staying for almost three months. A few days before he died, the doctors were hopeful that he would be home for Christmas but that was not to be. My mother and I were with him at the time, so thankfully he was not alone when it happened.

My father was a voracious reader and I have him to thank for my own love of books, which ultimately led to me becoming a writer. Every time he read a new book he would pass it on to me, anything from Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods to James Plunkett’s Strumpet City – one of our favourite books. He told me that as a child, Jack London was his favourite author and The Call of the Wild was a much loved book. He fished and hunted duck and rabbit and many a time my parents would tell us the rabbit stew we were eating was chicken because of the fuss we kicked up over the ‘wee bunnies’ hanging in the shed.

Dad was a great sportsman, from his school years right up to the week he went into hospital. When we were children he was a goalkeeper for various football clubs and also a fantastic darts player. He even wrote a book on how to play darts but never published it. In those days, golf was his favourite pastime and he won five scratch cups over his lifetime of playing, I think if he didn’t have the responsibility of a family to provide for, he would have become a professional golfer. He was a coach builder and carpenter by trade and very good at his job.

Chess was another game that my father loved and he would teach anyone who wanted to learn. My sisters and myself have known how to play since we were very young and would set the pieces up for our parents whenever my father managed to talk my mother into giving him a game. In their later years they both took up bowls – indoor and outdoor – and were quite competitive, especially when playing on opposing teams. My dad was never a bad loser, except when the winner was my mum, but he always said ‘you play to win’ and his motto was to practice, practice, practice. I was very proud of him when, in his mid seventies, he studied to become an umpire/referee in bowls. He passed his exams and was well known and respected in many clubs over the years. At his funeral, which was on Christmas Eve, some of his bowls friends formed a guard of honour while his grandsons carried his coffin to the hearse.

Although he hated flying my father decided in his seventies to visit places that had been on a wish list for most of his life. He took a short flight to St. Andrew’s golf course in Scotland, one of the oldest in the world, as a practice run for a much longer trip to Poland. It was the first time he had been to mainland Europe and we were quite concerned about him as he was travelling alone. However, there was no need to worry, my dad had it all sorted. In case he got mugged, he had photocopied his money and put it in his wallet, while carrying the real notes in the shoes he was wearing. We were terrified he would forget and pay for something with the fake money by mistake and end up being arrested for passing on forged notes. He tried hard to blend in by dressing like a local in Warsaw, hoping to avoid pickpockets who targeted the tourists and was amused to find other tourists giving him a wide berth – I can’t blame them when he described what he was wearing.

One particular place that dad wanted to visit was Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. He was twelve when the second world war ended and the concentration camps had left a deep and lasting impression on him. From Warsaw, he took the train to Berlin but didn’t get to spend as much time at the former site of the Berlin Wall as he would have liked, as he had to catch a plane to Alicante in Spain. We were living there at the time and he stayed with us for a week, soaking up the sunshine and swimming in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. I’m so glad I have the memories and photographs of that time we spent together. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Dad.

 

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About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
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63 Responses to My Dad

  1. Ruth says:

    Aww, so sorry to hear your sad news, Jean – sending virtual hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. socialbridge says:

    So, so sorry to read of your Dad’s death. He sounds like a great character and your love for him shines through. Take care, jx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arlene says:

    Condolence Jean. sorry to hear about your dad’s passing on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mysm2000 says:

    What wonderful memories of your dad. It’s almost two years since my dad went home to be with the Lord but it still seems like yesterday. What a strange mixture of sadness and happy memories and hope of a future reunion. My thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    I am very sorry for your loss, Jean but happy that you have so many memories of you dad. He sounds like a wonderful man, husband and father.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan Holmes says:

    Jean, I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for taking time to share your dad with us; he was clearly a lifelong learner, adventurous to the last, and much loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sorry for your loss, Jean, but these wonderful memories will keep your heart warm when you think of him for many years to come. He sounds like a good man, husband, father, and friend – no one can ask for more than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. oglach says:

    Judging by the lovely tribute you’ve given him here, your father was a loving and caring one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anything I would write would be something already said above, but I’m truly sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like someone I would have enjoyed knowing and you’re blessed to have such wonderful memories. I’ll be visiting my parents soon, 89 and 88 and fortunately still in quite good health. But each year when I visit, I know it might be the last time I see one or both of them, so I cherish every minute. You have billions of wonderful minutes to cherish.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy that both your parents are doing well, Janet. My sisters and I will be spending next weekend with our mother at a spa hotel and I’m looking forward to that. For the last few years we have all tried to get together at least twice a year with our parents and we have those fond memories thankfully.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so sorry to hear this news, Jean, and my heart goes out to you and your family, but what a tremendous tribute you have written. Take care, Sarah. x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sherry Felix says:

    My condolences to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jean – I am so sorry for your loss. It is tough to lose a loved one, especially around the holidays. I hope your happy memories of him will help you through this difficult time.

    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sjhigbee says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your sad loss, Jean. You have written the loveliest tribute to him – he sounds a marvellous father and a remarkable man.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. JP McLean says:

    My condolences, Jean. These wonderful memories you have of him will keep him close.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. JT Twissel says:

    So sorry Jean. I’m sure he’s very proud of you and I’m so glad you were there with him. Christmas is always such a difficult time to lose a loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. cindy knoke says:

    With sympathy for the loss of a very special person~

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m so sorry, Jean. My deepest condolences. It sounds like your dad was an amazing man.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jennie says:

    A lovely and heartwarming tribute to your Dad. So sorry for your loss, Jean.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. joey says:

    He sounds like a wonderful soul. I’m particularly pleased he inspired your love of books. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. My condolences, Jean.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My condolences to you and your Family

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Marilyn says:

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your father. May he rest in peace.
    Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  23. jorgekafkazar says:

    Your father sounds like a very interesting chap, admirable, and exceptionally clever. The image of him dressed so much like a Pole that tourists avoided him will be with me for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Rest in peace, Jean’s Dad. ❤ I would never expect to be chuckling at an obituary but it happened. Fake money in wallet! What a character!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jesh stg says:

    As a writer you’re coming out splendidly with this tribute to your dad! As parents we have so much influence on our children, as his love for reading spurred you on, to go beyond that:):)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. sydspix says:

    Sorry for your loss Jean. Your dad sounded like a really nice person.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. dweezer19 says:

    Hello Jean. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Dad sounds like he was an a mazing man. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. dadanddanblog says:

    Sounds like a character , sorry for your loss

    Liked by 1 person

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