There’s a man that I knew,
not too close, not too far,
as a child he was there
to tend to my scars.
A man with a past,
of that I had no doubt,
a man, when provoked,
who knew how to shout.
A happy man
with a smile for all,
he'd always be there to
pick me up when I'd fall.
And though never far away,
we were never very close,
a sign of those times
one can only suppose.
But I loved him.
Now as time moved on
I matured and grew,
a family of my own
I now saw things anew.
The man, as a child,
that I thought I had known
seemed to change before my eyes,
a hard life taking its toll.
Strangely enough
and not before time
our relationship blossomed,
it made my heart shine.
He loved his grandchildren;
how they laughed and they played,
he always had time,
no excuses ever made.
And I loved him.
We soon began to talk
and enjoy things the same,
it was late in the day
and as such quite a shame.
But then Dad became ill
and could no longer hide
the insidious destroyer
that was growing inside.
For long years he battled
and for a time he seemed free
of the terrible disease
that would not leave him be.
The clock of his life
was now running down,
but no tears, no sadness,
no worries or frown.
And I loved him.
He wouldn't give in
and let us all know
that his time was now short,
he would soon have to go.
A man once so tall,
so tough and so proud,
his heart beating strong and
his voice booming loud.
The head of the family,
protector of all,
to nurture, support,
a role model to call.
He was always around
when I needed him most,
as gentle as a feather
yet strong as a post.
And I loved him.
Adored from afar,
respected and revered.
A clown full of laughter
and yes, even feared.
Cut down far too soon,
he had so much to give.
A friend, now so close,
it’s not fair, let him live!
Crumbling from inside
and so painfully thin,
so cruel and heartless,
a tragedy; a sin.
Snatched from my grasp
with a heart rending cry,
please give him back,
I don't understand why?
You see, I loved him.
After all the years of
my life, young and old,
so many good times,
fun and laughter untold.
Once a distant observer,
I was now at ringside,
no longer a stranger,
no wasteful divide.
Too soon, too soon,
can't you give us more time,
this can't be it all,
not the end of the line?
And then just an emptiness,
a terrible rift,
the weight on the soul
is impossible to shift.
For I loved him.
Nothing left to show,
just a memory, a hole,
a feeling of loss
I just couldn’t control.
A man who for most of
our time seemed aloof,
had grown into my life
and I needed no proof.
His pride had been there
for us all to see,
the gleam in his eyes
when he looked at me.
'A grafter' he’d once called me
with beaming pride,
the smile on my face
was impossible to hide.
For I loved him.
I'm glad, before his end,
I was able to show
that it wasn't all wasted,
for he helped me bestow
some of that jovial love,
that heart-warming smile,
on those in my life
who had enjoyed his style.
Regrets, we all have
and they're all part of life,
some hard to accept and
some cut like a knife.
But mine are so simple,
so normal, so plain and
yet they still fill me
with saddening pain.
Because I loved him.
For all that we did and
the closeness we shared,
I just couldn't open up
and tell him I was scared.
If I could just have a minute
with the man that I miss,
it would be a sweet moment
of heavenly bliss.
I would hold him so close
and squeeze him so tight
and on his sweet brow
kiss him gently goodnight.
I would look in his eyes,
so sweet and so blue
and simply say to him,
"Dad, I really love you."
Written by Darren Scanlon, July 2012.
Revised by Darren Scanlon, 17th May 2015.
©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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