Your Father's Day tributes: 'We didn't have a lot, but we had your love'
I was born into a middle to low class family, we didn't have a lot.
For what we lacked, my father - Allan Hymers - made up for in love.
My dad worked very long, full-time hours to pay the mortgage, feed us, clothe us, and allow my mother to be home with us three children.
Having three kids under the age of three was hard - but my dad made it look easy.
He never accepted help from anyone, he and my mother have done it all on their own. From washing diapers for newborn twin girls, to piggy-backing three children to bed every night, playing dress-ups, posing as Santa Claus at Christmas just to see the look on our faces, to all those tickle fights and farting contests - they did it all and everything in between.
Fast forward to the teenage years where it wasn't so easy. Being the rebellious teen that I was, I moved out of home at a very young age thinking everything would be smooth sailing.
Of course it wasn't and there were a lot of ups and downs, but every single time I needed help, my dad was always there. Whether it was just to talk on the phone, come over and have a coffee, or even to let me stay with him for a few days. His door was always open and I knew I always had a home with him.
A few years later, I received a call from my dad to give me horrible news. He had cancer.
I instantly left my job and home in Palmerston North to come back to Wellington.
I saw my dad and was shocked that he was surprisingly in good spirits. He never faltered.
Over the course of his chemotherapy treatment he would sing, laugh, tell his silly Dad jokes, and just generally be himself. He lost his hair, his weight, and his physical strength, but he never lost his sense of humour, his compassion, his determination or his will to live.
Unfortunately, due to having so much time off work he had to leave his job, which he loved. He also had to use up all of his personal savings in order to qualify for a benefit to help pay the mortgage while he was undergoing treatment.
He had all of his bills to pay and always kept the house stocked full of food for our family coming in and out. He did all of this while going through a separation from my mother.
Despite everything that he was going through, he never complained. His spirits were always high, even at the peak of his treatment when he was at his most weak. He would even joke about having "chemo brain" whenever he made a mistake or forgot something.
My dad beat cancer and went on to become one of the best bus drivers in the Hutt Valley. He was so happy to be working again, despite the massive change in income between his previous job and his current one. He was just happy to be alive.
He sees everything now in a different light; he never ends a phone call without telling me he loves me and is proud of me, he only sees the good in everyone and everything, he is the nicest man I know and would do anything for anyone. He is the one person I can trust with my whole life, he is my ultimate rock.
I am now 24 years old and currently living in Italy. I miss my Dad every day. I am not going to be in the country to be with him for Father's Day, even though I wish I could be, so I am writing this letter to you, Dad.
I want to tell you how proud I am of you and how much I love you. Grandad and Grandma would be so proud to see the father and person you are today.
Happy Father's Day.
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