Today marks the twentieth anniversary of my dad dying. Twenty years... that’s a long ol’ time. It’s been a while now since we passed over the point of years I had with my dad and years I didn’t but it doesn’t change anything, it still always sucks.
Last year on this day I recounted my experience of waking up that day and everything after, so I’m not going to do that again. It’s still up if you wanted to go back and find it.
What I want to do today is play a little game of ‘what if.’
This isn’t in a wishing for kind of way, as I said last year, without the experience of losing my dad when I did I wouldn’t have become who I am and I really like me. It’s just an interesting thought exercise;
Everything that’s happened, happened. My dad died when I was twelve, we mourned, we lived our lives, we made our memories and we made our mistakes. Now, twenty years later POP! David Hewlett is back. He’s aged as if he’d been alive the whole time, he knows who we are and what happened, but now here’s back.
We’ll skip over all the craziness of what the fuck and how and all that stuff. I want to consider what he thinks about some things now.
So what does he think about me?
I’m sure he would be proud of me, he was a loving parent who would support his kids to the best of his ability regardless. But would he be disappointed in some of the choices I’ve made? Probably.
I don’t think he was a fan of tattoos for one, but probably in the same way my mum isn’t, they get over it and in the grand scheme of things appreciate that it’s not anything to really worry about.
I’m sure he’d be gutted about my failed marriage, but sympathetic too.
Without the years of context of seeing how the industry changed I don’t know how he would feel about me having DJ’d for a while and then given it up. That’s an interesting one as it was very much the family business. I’m pretty sure he always wanted me to do something different, but probably with the hopes that it could benefit those in the family who were still doing that. I’m sure he would be okay with what I do now but wondering what’s next.
Saying I’m the most creatively minded person in my family doesn’t feel completely accurate, my sister certainly is but in a very different way. I think my dad would appreciate my little projects and ideas. Like this site; I think he’d get a kick out of this.
He’d love that I’m still so heavily invested in Star Wars. That was a thing we shared; going on day trips here, there and wherever hunting down old Kenner figures was one of the things we enjoyed doing together the most.
My dad would have definitely got into craft beers. Man, I’ve never thought about that before. He would have appreciated it in the same way I do I think, looking for different styles and tastes. That would have been fun.
I think he would like that I’ve been getting healthier too. He was trying to in his last year, and was making progress, but it was too little too late. I think he would see the steady progress I’ve made and be quite inspired. He’d probably see Jon’s ridiculously ripped physique and be impressed but think the amount of time he puts into it could be better spent elsewhere.
I’m sure he would find it funny that I got back into wrestling all these years later. I’d love to take him to a RevPro show and show him the quality of indie wrestling in the UK.
I could see him jumping on board with mine and Jon’s love of the NFL too and wanting to make trips to the states to see games.
I wonder what he would think of the political situation in the world now? That one is really hard for me to put a finger on as I feel like there has been so much that has changed since 1999 that he wouldn’t be able to make an informed decision without a lot of reading up.
He would love the Internet. He was a fan of what he experienced at the end of the twentieth century but again, so much has changed. Shit he was impressed with a phone that had gel buttons and a multi-directional d-pad, imagine him with an iPhone in his pocket and the collective knowledge of the entire planet at his finger tips. Plus all the porn!
What would he think about me? I keep coming back to that in my head.
There’s no answer. There can’t be an answer. As I’ve said for at least fifteen years, maybe longer, I am who I am because of what I’ve been through and experienced. The good, the bad and everything in between.
I’m a product of my mum and my dad and I love them both completely. But I am me, I’m James. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I try and live my life as a good person and I think I’m generally pretty decent at it. I’m mostly happy and when I’m not I can usually identify why.
I think my dad would be proud of that, hell, maybe even a little jealous of it.
I don’t really believe in an afterlife where we get to meet all our deceased loved ones again in some magical land, but if me and science are wrong then I look forward to catching up with him one day. If not I’m happy with the thought of it.
I never really put it together how close to Father’s Day my dad died, but fuck those holidays anyway. If you are able to tell your parents how you feel able them, don’t wait for a particular day. Just do it whenever.