20 Years : R 118102


Theres just not enough words in the world to describe this feeling.

I’ve been putting off my words because I wasn’t exactly sure of what to write and what to say. To be honest, I am hardly even sure of how I’m feeling, so instead of saying the exact words, I thought I might try and one-up myself.

Long story short, it’s been 20 years since my Dad passed away.

You can read all about the details on my post about it last year, Happy Birthday : Papa Bear.‘ It’s emotional and sentimental, and means so much to me, but my favourite part is its honesty. It’s raw and it’s real. It’s 100% me.

I guess this year was different. I didn’t make a big scene about it, nor told many people – only a few people were aware and could ever even slightly understand. But that’s ok, I didn’t want to have a fuss made. Typically, the week before the date has a subconscious effect, and I’m a tad emotional and irrational. But again, for some reason, this year was different. I was calm and I was in tune. I think this year, I was finally at peace.

Accepting the tragedy has been an ongoing process, and it raises its head for a deep and meaningful chat from time to time. But now, being in a good space with my businesses, my friendships and my relationship, life is good, I am feeling good and I can’t really complain. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling peaceful? Who knows. I’m well confused.

R 118102. 

It was my dad’s service number in the Royal Australian Navy.

My mum sent me this photo before Christmas when I asked her for his service number, and the writing on the chalk board really spoke to me. Take note of the font and the style, for more than a second.

I decided to have it with me forever. I decided to get my first tattoo.

I’ve never had a tattoo before in my life, nor have I ever stepped into a tatto parlour, so this was a completely new experience for me. I was nervous – but more so for the pain. And to be fair, it was no where near as painful as what I thought it might be. 

I wore a simple pair of white Lee jeans and a cashmere jumper from Skin and Threads. I was completely unsure of my feelings and therefore was completely unsure of my outfit. I had only changed it seven times that day already. It was my messy subconscious being hindered by my inner peace. They were both confused, as was I.

I emailed the photo of my Dad’s certificate to Danny and he printed and replicated the exact writing on the chalk board. Its more than just ink to me. Its perfect with all its imperfections. Its my dad.

Its a little raw and its a little bit messy – qualities I harbour directly from my Dad. But more than that, its not trying to be anything it isn’t. It is pure and raw and I love it.

I guess this self-diagnosed one up for myself was a perfect description. The 21st of April will not be remembered for just his day of death, but a day of my rebirth, with absolute peace in my heart. What a life and a day to remember. Forever, we will be free.

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