Septembeard | Grow What Your Father Gave You.


In somewhat of a tangent to the normal beardy related posts I've previously done in my Septembeard series, this is more of a personal one that perhaps explains my erratic absences and delays.

This is me living the idyllic country childhood and one of the only pictures I have of me and my dad.

On Valentine's Day this year my dad was rushed to hospital with suspected gall stones. All the tests, scans and examinations were completed and the results came back. Yes, there were gall stones but there was also something much worse; pancreatic cancer
My dad is something of a survival expert, having lived through several heart attacks and 3 separate instances of cancer: skin, kidney and stomach. His previous and current conditions have put chemo, radiotherapy and surgery out of the picture. To cut a long, tough and emotional story short; he's not escaping this one. 

He's gone from a man of the outdoors to an old man. He no longer has the strength or energy to tend to his garden, greenhouses and workshop. 

However, in spite of all his sickness, something struck me during his most recent trip to the hospital with a severe infection. The first thing he asked for following a night of numerous drips of antibiotics, fluids and painkillers, was a frigging razor!
It made me smile that this was what was going through his head, lying in pyjamas in a hospital bed: Wow, I must get rid of this stubble..!

Growing up, my dad always had facial hair. It was the 80's so he went from the full fisherman beard he had when he got married to the Magnum PI moustache so many men of that time sported. I remember as a kid crying in fear when, on a whim, he shaved his moustache off and I didn't recognise the strange man in our house.

My dad was not my beard inspiration and I'm not growing mine in some weird hairy tribute, but it's something we have in common. 

From my dad I inherited his love of nature and his stubbornness, his DFR (do f**king rightly) attitude, his fear of public speaking, his short legs/large calves combo and his auburn beard.
My dad also isn't a talker; something else I inherited from him. I suppose there is still something there that seeks to protect me like I'm the wee boy in the photo, not the grown man I am now. 

I'm not going to go into too much depth on my feelings as I write this post and with that, I don't really know how to conclude it.
I know there is a hard, unavoidable ending to this story but I am taking this as it comes, being there as best as I can.

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