Hi Everyone, is never easing when a parent passes away but nothing is quite like losing a parent when pregnant.
I’m so sorry I’ve been a bit vacant these last few weeks. It’s with a very heavy heart that I write this blog to let you know that my lovely dad, Ronnie Jones lost his fight against Parkinson’s Disease on Saturday July 18th. This disease has slowly debilitated my dad over the last 8 years or so and it’s been incredibly hard, as a family watching the man of the house become weaker and weaker… Losing his spark, confidence and ability to do what he wanted to do on a daily basis.
My mum has been absolutely amazing throughout all this. Yes, sure it’s been ridiculously hard for her as his full time carer but the love you have for your husband of 42 years means that through sickness and health, you’re there for all of it! Which she has been. She’s a bloody star and we, as a family will forever be grateful that dad had her there till the end.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the funeral arrangements had to be amended. But we were lucky really, as some of the rules in Wales have relaxed and we were able to have a graveside service at our family chapel, up in the countryside and as many people could attend as long as they stayed 2 metres apart (which was easily available as it is such a large area). We had a Guard of Honour for dad, which was amazing! Including representatives from the local Navy Club (which my dad had been a member of for many years) and there were so many family/friends/colleagues there to show their respects on the day. We sang Calon Lan (Which they sang at mum and dads wedding) and dads favourite hymn ‘Mi Glywaf Dyner Lais’… Which is absolutely stunning! I’ll share the YouTube video for you to watch:
Beautiful isn’t it? We didn’t really know it that well, so we spent all week learning as much as we could.
What he achieved in his 77 years…
Dad wouldn’t want us to feel sad for long and would want us to remember the good times. So here is a little bit of a bio about my dad;
Dad was a proud former Royal Marine (9 years service), proud family man, Welsh speaking & passionate Welshman, highly respected by former work colleagues and members of Llandudno Naval Branch for 40 years. He served in Malay and Borneo, Falklands Naval Party 8901, Northern Ireland, onboard ship (s) and various Units plus.
Dad never really went into too much detail about his time in the services, but as adults we would attend the Remembrance Sunday service, which then led to a very boozy afternoon (and sometimes evening) at the local Royal Legion club and many of the ex serviceman would come up to myself and siblings and tell us how dad was a hero and that we should be very proud of him. He saw a lot, I know that and at a very young age too, but he was so humble. He had 2 medals that he wore for these type of days out and I was told he should have had another 2, but he didn’t see the need to. Like it was a bit ‘Showy’… That was my dad.
Dad was a hard worker and along with my mum has sacrificed many things for his 4 children over the years and never moaned about it (well, he may have done to mum but we never knew) and was one of our biggest supporters. Over the years I joined the local netball team, athletics team, swimming team and also the Sea Cadets (I wanted to join the forces, like my dad for a little while) and he would come and cheer me on, watch me and he would even cut out every single article that I was in, in the local newspaper and put it in a scrapbook (which I still have).
He was such a soft touch. Well compared to my mum.. She was the disciplinarian in our household…. She’s a heart of gold, but don’t mess with her! She has that look in her eye and can lift that one eyebrow, that means ‘Don’t push it lady’…. I’m sure most mums have this look actually. I have been told that I have a similar look, well more a ‘Resting Bitch Face’ haha! But I could wrap my dad round my little finger.
I had such respect for that man! He was the main man in my life for so many years. I remember when I had been with Phill only a few months and a friend of his mentioned how he was the No 1 man in my life and I quickly replied with “Oh no, Phill isn’t. My dad is. He has been for 33 years.. Phill has a lot more to do before he takes that spot”. Phill didn’t argue, he knew how much my dad meant to me. Still does.
I have so many memories to cherish!
As I became an adult I found myself wanting to spend more time with him and would ask to go to any Rally events with him. I don’t know anything about Rallying really, but knew dad was an avid follower, he also spent many years competing as a navigator and I wanted an excuse to spend time with him. He didn’t want me to go at first. Thought it wasn’t for ‘girls’ (very old fashioned was my dad) but mum set him straight one day and said “Ron, you’re daughter wants to spend time with you. That’s all”, so that was that… For the next few years I was up at 5am, driving up forestry with dad and my uncle Fred, with our flasks, bacon butties and camping chairs and I absolutely loved it! Watching my dad so passionate about it all was infectious. I really miss those days out with him.
My mum worked shift work when I was in my 20’s and would work every other Sunday, so me and dad would go out for the day walking up the mountains/forestry all across North West Wales. He was brilliant at reading maps! I never did learn that skill from him as I’m useless and would rather really on Google Maps these days to get me from A to B (so Millennial hey?). I was single in those days and would be either out partying or working in my part time job as a barmaid til 1 am, but I never missed one day of those walks. I miss going for big hikes in the countryside, I can’t wait for my girls to be older so I can take them to all the places me and Taidi (that’s Welsh for Grandad) went and tell them all about him. He would listen to my man troubles and give me advice, listen to my friend troubles and give me advice and he would also listen to my career worries and again.. Give me advice. He was so wise.
This man was brought up on a farm up the mountain, shared a bed with his 4 brothers, had no bathroom and was brought up Welsh speaking and then sent to an English speaking school where he was picked on and would bunk off at any given opportunity. He was left handed and we later discussed that he was probably dyslexic also… He didn’t have a chance bless him. Life in the 1940’s and 1950’s was hard for someone like him. That’s why he decided to join the Royal Marines at 17 years of age… Get away from the tiny town he lived in and go and see the world! Best decision he ever made.
Because of his childhood he always thought himself as ‘thick’, which really wound me up. I used to say over and over “You’re not thick dad, you have just never been told that information before. Now you’ve been told about it, you’ll remember it and that’s knowledge”. The last thing I said to him was “You are my best friend. You never thought highly of yourself but I think I did enough for you. I’m so proud to be your daughter. We all love you”. He’ll be truly missed. I’m so upset my girls will never get to know him. But we have hours and hours of old family home videos that I will show them often and I have put together an album of photos with him and Ffion together over the last 2 years.
He will leave a huge hole in my life. He was one of my bestest friends. Every Christmas he’d add up all the £2 coins he collected throughout the year and me and him would go Christmas shopping so he could buy everyone something. Sounds silly, but that’s what I’m going to really miss. Picking him up, having a chat, debating what perfume to get all the girls and aftershaves for the lads, him flirting terribly with the shop assistant and then heading over to the local cafe for lunch. It really is the simple things you miss. Not the materialistic things, but the time spent together.
I told him just before I said my ‘Goodbyes’ that I was going to run the Conwy Half Marathon
in November 2021 in his memory and raise lots of money for Parkinsons UK. He always came to watch me race and now I have one last thing that I can do to make him proud… Just got to have this little girl of ours first and then I’ll get training!
Losing a parent when pregnant. My children will know their Taidi, always
I’m extremely proud to be his daughter and will make sure my girls know what a colourful and adventurous life he led. He may no longer be here, but his memory will live on for as long as we’re around to tell them.
Bye Dad. It’s been a blast knowing you! Lots of love, Lynne xx
(I’ve chose this song as me and Dad love Johnny Cash and this song is all about loss and dealing with grief. So quite fitting)….
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