Friday, 21 November 2014

My Dad

Two weeks and five days ago my Dad died.  It happened suddenly.  His heart stopped.  He was at home. Sat in his favourite arm chair.  Watching TV with his youngest Grandson sat by his feet.  He had just been out to tend to his beloved garden, accompanied by my youngest son and by his wife, my Mum.  He was exactly where he wanted to be, after living a good life.   Two days ago, we celebrated his life at his funeral. We wore his favourite colour, green.  We thought of the good times. There were beautiful flowers and a casket of willow.  This is my tribute to him.

Bri Mitchell

21 October 1936 to 3 November 2014
 My Mum and Dad, aged Eighteen

My Dad, Bri Mitchell, was one of the kindest, caring, and most genuine men you could have had the pleasure to have known.  One of life’s good people.  As you will see from the photo of him and my Mum when they were just eighteen, and recently engaged, he was also a bit of a cool dude in his day too.
A down to earth, hardworking, practical and capable man, somone who was passionate and knowledgable about gardening and wildlife.  It wasn’t unusual for me when growing up to find myself sat in the back of his car alongside an injured animal we had happened upon by the roadside who needed a lift home to be nursed back to health before being released back in to the wild.  As a child, I loved nothing more than being by his side 'helping' in the garden.

At times, he was a man of few words, and yet you almost always knew what he was feeling through his expressions and actions.  Knowing, determined, patient, stubborn, with a deep sense of right and wrong.  Despite his aging body, he held on to an energetic soul to the end and retained a boyish charm, and a strong sense of fun.  

Bri was no-ones fool, he could spot a mean streak or someone trying to pull a fast one, a mile off.  If my Dad thought of you as a friend, then he would have done anything he could to help you out.  Above all else though, this loving and gentle man, valued time spent with his family.
Together with his partner in crime, my Mum, for over sixty years,  my Dad has shown me and my boys how to love and how to be loved.  He has taught us how to be happy through enjoying the simple things:- to be generous in giving our time to those we care about, to look after ourselves and each other, to see the funny side, to appreciate nature and the cycle of life,  and to put in what you want to get out.

I will miss this man every day. But more than anything, I feel so very lucky, and thankful, to have had him as my Dad, and for my son’s to have had him as their loving and fun-filled Grandad.; because we couldn't have hoped for better.

Bri Mitchell will live on through us, as we move forward with goodness in our hearts, a cheeky glint in our eyes, and a mischievous smile upon our faces.

Bri and his older brother Roy

A keen footballer, he proudly played for Chesterfield Boys Team

On a boys holiday to Blackpool

Aged 17, with his wife to be, my Mum, Joy
He was a fantastic Dad to me his only child

With me and my Mum at a family wedding

Wonderful Grandparents to my two boys
Bri always had time for his family

Passing on his knowledge and skills
My Dad, with goodness in his heart, a cheeky
glint in his eye, and a mischievous smile
upon his face.