Today is the first anniversary that my lovely stepdad died. A year ago today began a new normal for my mum, my sister and I. He and my mum began their journey together when I was about 13 and pretty much from that moment on he became our rock. Full of advice, love and thoughts that very often we needed but didn't want to hear, Colky was always level, honest and constant.
Seeing us through our joys and our sorrows, our ups and our downs, Colin, or Father as we called him loved us as his own daughters. 5pm welcomed happy hour. He and mum would sit and discuss the day, he with is rum and mum with a glass of wine. Colin had many hobbies and collected things he loved with gusto. British Military Badges being one, he was the authority and his books proved such. When he took my mumma around the world on a once-in-a-lifetime trip (for three months - jammy cow) his precision booking and organising matched his travel diaries which contain every detail, photographs, collectables and memories that my mum treasures now.
He loved my mum with his whole heart and every opportunity he would tell my sister and I - each time we would cringe as any normal teenager might, but he meant it, every word and he NEVER stopped telling us so, right up to the very very end.
My favourite memories of my stepdad are from my tumultuous twenties. They lived in Dorchester and on my visits we would sit in the garden under the big tree and drink far too much whilst Colin and my mumma would pummel me for information about my life. He held my hand through all the highs and lows of being a self-employed artist, never really understanding it given that he was a bank inspector for 40 years - but he delighted at my achievements and comiserated with me when it was all going wrong, and there were plenty of those times.
Once he became a step grandfather, his world was turned upside down by our frenzied visits. My sister and I have six beautiful children between us, and that is alot of baby gubbins, and riotus children that shoved toys in the video machine (and broke it of course numerous times) tears of tiredness (from us the parents ) he showed us lashings of love and compliments that we were wonderful parents and doing it all so well, yeah right, but it was just what we needed to hear and he knew that.
Throughout the 33 years I knew Colin, he never changed. Stoic in his love for mum, my sister and I. He was a rock and we loved him very much.