We live in an age where people often strive looking for a hero or role model in their lives.
I need to look no further than my Dad. Like most fathers, he is amazing.
Last week, we celebrated his 87th birthday, which in a week when we have lost so many others like David Bowie and Alan Rickman at much younger ages, i feel so grateful that he is still alive and we can enjoy many of his amazing and true life stories.
What makes it even more remarkable is when he tells me of the times in his early years working on various farms, where he often had to work in four foot of snow with no trousers and shoes.
The times he walked many kilometres barefoot with his parents to the provincial capital.
Some of these stories he has only recently been sharing with me. Maybe he thinks i’m old enough now to appreciate the hardships he has been through for me and my family.
One story that sticks in my head was during the second world war where he was caught is cross fire between German and Allied troops in Southern Italy. He was just doing his regular job of shepherding sheep in the hills, where a battle broke out, which is not where you want to be at all, let alone as a young teenager.
He was hit by an explosion near him, but thankfully some Allied troops came to his rescue and removed the shrapnel from his back.
Once war was over, he was the only one of 11 siblings who left his Province in a quest for work, travelling the length and breadth of Italy and ended up in Viterbo in Lazio region working on various farms before immigrating to UK in late 50’s.
I can’t even begin to imagine moving to a country not being to able to speak the native language and having no money and no experience in the work taken on for. But he done that. He quickly learnt his new trade and learnt to speak English.
Once my parents had settled in Rubery, he bought his first property decades before the majority were buying their own properties. He also had an allotment and was growing all his own fruit and vegetable decades before it was called organic.
A true pioneer, which sadly in our Celebrity driven world, will probably never be noticed.
My Dad is a true hero and appreciate everything he has ever done for me, my family and all our friends and family. He continues to bring a lot of joy and happiness to my mum and all of us and long may it continue!
Below is picture of me and my dad on his 87th birthday and a link to Hero by David Bowie, who sadly passed away this week far too young.