From the time I was a child, I grew up with the idea that my dad was well and truly invincible. Sitting by him along with my two sisters, he would regale us with stories of his childhood growing up in a small village in Macedonia. He would tell us about all of the mischief he and our uncles got up to when they were our age and detail all of their narrow escapes from situations my sisters and I could only imagine being in.
He would explain how my grandparents would be so worried about his safety, they would confiscate his push bike so he would stop going out and getting himself into trouble. Knowing my dad was clever and practical, my grandparents had to keep coming up with new and more unique places to hide his bike so he wouldn’t come across it. Once, they went as far as to hide it in the roof but of course, that didn’t stop my dad from prying it out and taking it for a ride when they weren’t around.
He would tell us of the days he and my uncle would hunt for bees and hold them against their skin just to see if their sting would really hurt as much as their parents said it would. I would listen and I would think about all of the courage he had that I knew I didn’t.
All of the things that I would be too scared to even think about. All of the things that he and my mum would say not to do and how I would obey. How I wished I would have just a fraction of his courage and that flicker of mischief in his eye, that was still there as an adult when he spoke to me.
"He would regale us with stories of his childhood". Image: iStock.
But now as an adult myself, I can pinpoint the exact day when I realised that my dad wasn’t invincible. That despite all of his close escapes and cleverness a child, that he wasn’t immune from getting himself in serious trouble or that one day, his health would catch up with him. That was the day he came flying off his motor bike.