Today is my daughter Rebecca’s 36th birthday. Becky lives and works in London. All parents love their children and are proud of their achievements, and I am no different than any other father when it comes to my own offspring. All children are unique in their differences, and it is natural for parents to love them in different ways, and to admire them for the varying qualities they each possess and display.
There are many loving qualities that Becky possesses, of which I will cite a few. She is demonstrative in her affection, she is generous, considerate, and respectful, but there is one of her qualities that stands head and shoulders above all others. Were I to cucumber-slice her, like a stick of Blackpool rock, running through her body repeatedly would be the word ‘family-family-family-family!’
Today is her birthday, yet yesterday and today, Sheila and I received a present through the post from her. It was a pair of lovely mugs with nature scenes on. Becky said, “When I saw them, I just thought of you and Sheila” so she bought them and had them posted on. She is such a generous person and is always thinking about her family. I have never known an employer who did not think highly about Becky, as do all her family, close and distant. She reminds me that all children leave home to seek their fortune, and when they get it, the first thing a loving child does is to go back home and share it with their family.
Becky stands for the ‘Forde Family’ through and through, and whatever differences I may have with any other family member from time to time, she will always be able to see both viewpoints, and comment on neither, unless specifically asked to do so. Her life began in our family home and her love never ends where ‘family’ is concerned.
You are my only daughter Becky, and your dad loves you to bits. However big or old you grow, you shall always be ‘my little girl’; my daughter whose asthmatic attacks witnessed me and your mother rushing you to the hospital a couple of times annually during the middle of the night until your third year of life. For the first two years of your life when your asthma attacks were frequent, we would let you sleep in the parental bed, and we discovered that if I laid on my back and you laid on top of me 'face down', that the up and down breathing motions of dad’s big belly rocked you to sleep. I would wake up should your breathing become erratic and herald an attack.
Once you love someone, Becky, you are never the first to leave that relationship. I remember when we had our first litter of Labradors and kept one back as a family pet, we had a basket by the kitchen door for the pup, and we would often find you asleep in the dog basket.
The one thought you reinforced in my own life, Becky is that we all need a house to live in, a place called home, and a family to belong to. It heartens me each visit you make to see me and Sheila at our home in Haworth. I love the thought of you being back in my home, sleeping in your own room there; Hopefully, this is a practice that we can return to soon after the lockdown ends, and I have had my second vaccine jab in mid-April.
I love you, Becky Forde. Have as nice a birthday as one can have, living alone in busy London during the lockdown of the nation. There will be other birthdays, Becky, that hopefully, we may share together.
Love you more than you can ever know.
Dad and Sheila xxx