Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The killing of a super hero

When I first started blogging this was an early post of mine and seemed to beg a review and rerun for this prompt.

The saddest thing about growing up is killing off your super heroes. Of course my super hero was my Dad. And soon after I started work I killed him dead, metaphorically that is.

He was my super hero because he adored my Mum. He was a brilliant sportsman in his youth and as a young man. Around the house he was always able to fix things. So there you have it; a loving, sporty, wonder man. So he surely was my superhero.

He was a very loving husband and probably drove all the other relations mad the way he hugged and kissed my Mum. Demonstrative love was not normal for working class people after the first bloom of marriage had worn off.

He played soccer for his works team, cricket for the town side and was a champion billiards player. He taught us boys the rudiments of many a card game which was very useful at the family get togethers that occurred at Christmas time so we could compete well with the adults. He came out to referee a scratch match of football with local boys on the neighbourhood sports ground during the vacation period. Above all he had a great sense of humour. I loved him.

When I got my first job, one of the perks was a yearly trip to London to attend a Building exhibition for architects, builders and other specialist to enable us to keep up with the latest trends in the business.

After a trip there one year I thought I would call in to see him at his work place in the city before I went home. I searched every depot that he was likely to be but his workmates all gave the same excuse. "Oh he gone down to Fisher Street" or "He'll be at Conduit Street by now."

I never caught up with him. And sadly instead of being able to have a chat and go for a beer with him after work, I caught the train home alone, pondering about him. Later on I found out that he had just taken an hour off work and gone home early. But as I sat in that railway carriage alone being whisked through the suburbs of London on a dark and dismal evening in November I thought about life, families and the future.

What I worked out was that I had been given a wonderful lesson in life. That small event of no consequence at first sight had set me free to be my own person. I was already well thought of at my new job; I even had a life and friends that didn't include my family but it was this very small event that somehow established me as an independent person.

What I discovered was that my father was not a superhero anymore, and he didn't need to be. He had done his job, taught me a lot and set me some great examples in life and it was my job now to live up to them. If I made mistakes, that was my responsibility from now on.

I do hope those characteristics in him that I so admired live on in me and that my children will also learn too, then break free to be superheroes to their own children as well.


  1. There is a lot of love in this story and a great example of a father and son relationship it its very best. we all do that to good fathers...that is they taught...that is what they wanted.

  2. an absolute wonderful tribute to what sounds like a great dad..,,.It's interesting how maturity brings such clarity

  3. Congrats on being the first person to post a link, Old Egg! Please email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com with your choice for next week's prompt word! :-)

    What a great super-hero story you have here, Old Egg! You are so right that if parents have done their job well, there reaches a point of retirement as a super-hero when the next generation steps up into their footprints to lead the way. THis was a lovely, sentimental piece, and I could feel your love and admiration for your father. Your children will do well to follow in your footsteps, and his!

  4. What a great post! I am so glad that your dad was a super hero and that he taught you how to be one too.

    Sadly some of my grandsons don't have that example in their lives...as their dad has all but abandoned them and moved on to make another family! So sad.

    My husband, their grandpa, is a good example though...and we hope they will want to follow in his footsteps!

    Have a great day!


  5. This is such a great story! and I think you are right... our parents are our superheroes until we realize that we need to stand on our own two feet...

  6. Lovely post. Yes , there comes a time when we step out of the hero worship circle. and it is very important too for only then we start discovering the better in us :)

  7. Great piece Rob, and I can still remember him thrashing us at golf, after not having played it for years, and with his left arm bent 90 degrees at the elbow, too!