As many families around Australia celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, for many of us, waving to our dads on a screen is the best we can expect for yet another year.
For me, it has been 19 months since I last hugged my dad.
We were standing at Broadmeadow train station and after visiting us in Newcastle, my parents were off to Sydney before flying home to the UK.
My dad is famous for his generous and ultra-squeezy 'bear hugs' and the best ones are reserved for our numerous and emotional airport hellos and goodbyes.
Unlike the dozens of other times I’ve stood crying at a busy train station or airport departure gates, I had no idea that this time would be such an open-ended farewell.
I wished them both a safe journey home, thinking I would see dad again for his 70th birthday celebrations in October 2020. And well, everyone knows what happened next.
As COVID took over, the world shut down, and international journeys became a thing of the past.
Where once I imagined airport goodbyes to be the very worst; I soon found out there is something much worse than an emotional departure – closed borders and no departures at all.
And with no international departures on the cards for us Aussies just yet, this Father’s Day will be just another milestone where we all wave at each other on a screen.
I don’t care about a fancy brunch or celebration, I would just really like to see my dad and give him a hug. He turns 71 next month and we have already missed so much time together.
When my sister and I were growing up, my dad worked long hours and he would often come home quite late. He was known to doze off while lying down beside us, listening as we chatted about our days at bedtime.