I went to mum and dads for the day today. Dad wanted to get my car checked out because he thought there was something wrong with the brakes (He was right. It's going to cost me heaps to get fixed too. Damn it!). Anyway, while I was there I noticed a certificate that had my dads name on it. It was some kind of commendation, in recognition of the work that he did last year during the Kerang train accident.
See, during the days after the train accident, my dad worked all kinds of hours, directing traffic, and helping out. It was nothing out of the ordinary for him - it was just work. He just did it. He worked days, went home for a while and slept, then went back and worked until 3 in the morning, then he went home and slept for a while, and got up and did it all again.
See, that's what my dad does. He just does it. Whatever needs to be done. No fuss - just get on with it. It doesn't matter what needs to be done, or who needs him - he's there. I've never really thought about it before, but he's awesome. If I was ever in trouble, I'd ring my dad. He's there for anything and anyone. He spends his weekends cutting firewood for people who need it. He helps out some older people in Kerang who can't mow their own lawns (that one is totally for him though, I think he just loves to use his ride on mower :-)). He's always helping out, doing stuff at people's houses that they can't do themselves for whatever reason. He'll help friends move, put up fences, looks after pets when their owners have gone away, even helps out my mums friends when he's needed. The list goes on and on.
When we were younger, we lived in the "not-so-great" part of town. My dad worked his arse off to get us into a better area, then worked to eventually buy a house. He worked hard for everything that he wanted for us. We didn't miss out on anything important when we were kids, because of him. Mum didn't have to start working until I was 12. We never had everything that we wanted - but we always had everything that we needed, and then some. My dad has given me so many awesome memories from when we were young. On Sundays, he'd be gone all morning doing stuff around Kerang. But when he got home? It was lollie time. He'd always go to the milkbar before he came home and get something for us. A bag of mixed lollies, a chocolate bar, a giant snake ... It didn't matter what it was. Every weekend we'd have a bbq. Didn't matter if it was summer or winter. If it was the weekend, we'd have a bbq. Dad would cook, and us kids would "help" mum get everything else ready. On Christmas morning, we'd always take all the presents into mum and dad's room to open them. As soon as we woke up in the morning we'd start carting presents into their room, sorting them into piles so we could rip into them. So many memories.
He may have had a quiet life - he hasn't done anything spectacular, he hasn't made the news, or hasn't made millions of dollars, but every day, he makes me proud to be his kid.