|My Dad: Always a hero|
My Dad has done this on occasions too numerous to list, but I would like to briefly describe a couple of them, one faintly comic and one decidedly tragic.
On holiday, my sister and I had gone wading into the sea on a sand shelf that kept the water level at mid thigh for small children until some distance from the beach. We were happily pottering around, looking for shells in the sand, throwing seaweed at each other and larking around in the sun until a minor disaster struck. I saw a purple blob floating past my leg and took a step back, a jellyfish. And then another jellyfish, closely followed by very many jellyfish indeed. Within moments we were surrounded by thousands of drifting, potentially stinging jellyfish cutting off our access back to the beach.
We did the only thing possible and began to scream for help. My Dad got up from his beach towel, grabbed a rubber dinghy and began to row his way towards us. We were hopping from place to place in a bid to avoid the jellyfish swarm as they drifted in random clumps around us. Pulling strongly on the oars Dad reached us in a couple of minutes and lifted us out of the jellyfish infested sea into the safety of the boat. We were safe. Ice cream followed.
The second incident also occurred on holiday when we were young children. The four of us, Mum, Dad, little sister Liz and myself, were having a drink or an ice cream in a beach front bar when something really terrible happened. Some men at the bar got into an argument, the argument escalated rapidly and suddenly one of the men had a blade in his hand. My memory isn't exact on this point, it may just have been a knife, in my child's mind it was a machete.
In moments the peaceful and happy bar was filled with blood, terror and panic. Dad reacted in heroic fashion, he simply brushed the table aside and picking me and Liz up under his arms, ran for the hotel, shooing my Mum along in front of him. I recall a man, who looked terribly badly wounded to me, stumbling along the beach drenched in blood. A wave of panic swept across the busy beach as dozens of shouting, screaming people flooded out of the bar.
My Dad got us in to the lobby of the hotel and grabbed a couple of other blokes to man the doors, to barricade them against the knife wielding man if needs be, and to allow other fearful holiday-makers to shelter in the safety of the hotel. Once he had got his family safe, and made the building safe for us and others, Dad went back out onto the rapidly emptying beach to see if he could help the two injured men.
Two weeks ago I had my work contract cancelled, and as my home is tied accommodation to the contract, I have no home either. Once again, as he has throughout my life, Dad has come riding to the rescue, making sure we'll have somewhere to stay so that we can rebuild after this sudden and life altering hiatus. Thanks Dad, today and always.