Ken & Daniel
Daniel Marks: I am the second of my father’s eldest children. He was married before he married my mother and had my two elder brothers. When my younger brother and I came along we completed the Four Marks brothers and loved describing ourselves as that when we were younger. As we brothers have grown we have all come to live somewhat separate lives but I am grounded in the lessons that I have learned from my father.
My father and I are similar and different in so many ways. We are both emotional men who weep at the drop of a hat – him with pride when he talks about his sons and our achievements, or friends he has loved and lost, or my mother- me when I watch something emotional on the television, experience kindness of any description, watch friends getting married, having children and most importantly when I feel surrounded by love.
We both love our clothes and from him I have learned the true meaning of appreciating quality cloth, beautifully cut tailoring and well polished shoes. His Turnbull & Asser shirt collection is one to be coveted and I have to own up to my brothers that I have made off with his dress studs (with permission).
He grew up in retail and from him I learned a love of the store environment, an understanding of customer experience and conjuring the magic of shopping. But it is in our differences that I have learned more from him.
If I could be more like him I would be a better man. Where he is quiet, dignified and stoic – I am loud, big and sometimes confrontational. Where he is non-judgmental, forgiving and Switzerland – I gossip, remember grievances and try to forgive but don’t always succeed.
My father lives his life in inspiring chapters. He recently graduated with an MPhil in Archaeology at the age of 83, having had a successful career in Retail and having left school at the age of 16. By his example I cannot wait for all the chapters of my life I have yet to live.
He gives generously to charity and he and mother raised huge amounts for The Royal Marsden after I recovered from testicular Cancer. Therein lies our greatest bond. After I had Testicular Cancer my father had Prostate Cancer and I remember him wanting me in hospital with him as living proof that he would get better.
Seeing myself through my father’s eyes gives me the greatest feeling of confidence and strength.
The best thing he ever taught me is…
Do your research – walk the floor – knowledge is powerful but experience is everything. Be kind, don’t judge and don’t be afraid of showing honest emotion.
One thing all fathers/sons need to know is…
You have nothing to fear by talking to each other. Your relationship will always survive honesty and openness.
I’ll never forget the time we…
Sat together in his hospital room when he was going through Prostate Cancer and he told me my survival gave him strength.
If I could share one thing from my father, it would be…
His demonstrative love and fierce loyalty.
I support Father & Son Day because…
I support Father and Son Day because my father and I both survived cancer – and we have a chance to ensure others do too.