Friday, 20 May 2011

More thoughts on dad...

It's coming round to a week since dad died and, as you might expect, all the funeral preparations are being made: flowers, eulogy (which I'll be reciting) the wake and so on. I've been trying to put on a brave face and not showing my true emotions, just like dad would have done, but I do have my private moments of grief, normally reserved for when I'm driving or riding the bike.

One part of mum and dad's wondeful garden
The feeling is odd and I know that there are a lot of people out there, who have already been there. I'm not, as dad would have said, unique. One of my memories of dad was listening to him explain things to me when I was a child, things that were run-of-the-mill and normally in response to an equally run-of-the-mill question, like, "Dad, why is it that when I come out of the swimming baths my ears pop?" And he would explain that I'm not unique, everyone experiences something like that and, of course, I'd immediately feel at ease knowing that it was not something peculiar to me. There were many moments like that and dad was always there to ensure we were not troubled by them.

Right now, though, I'm putting on a brave face but still experiencing feelings of emptiness and depression. I wonder where he is and again I look at everyday objects with the realisation that they lack meaning for dad. I think about his intellect, his views on history and politics, his sense of humour, his eye drops, basic stuff like that, and I think about how they have all lost meaning and relevance.

Back at 29 Rossdale, where they both lived, mum now resides there alone and there's definitely a sense of somebody missing. Dad has left the building, so to speak, but I always have a strange sense of his presence or, indeed, his imminent return; which, of course, is not to be.

While I try not to think about it and keep my true feelings away from my family – again, just like dad did when his mother and father died – it's nagging away at me.

I've had a couple of occasions where I've thought, "I know, I'll give dad a call on that problem," only to realise that I can't anymore and that, from now on, I'm on my own and will have to live or die on my own decisions about life and work and stuff.

Dad, as I said in the previous post, had a strong moral code and an immense sense of what was right and wrong. I wish I possessed similar qualities. I'll always remember, as a spotty teenager, owning a growing collection of soft porn mags, purchased with a strong sense of embarassment at the local newsagent. Once, as my collection became visible to other family members, by virtue of its size, dad sidled up to me and murmured, "Don't you think it's (ahem) a little unhealthy?" I considered his remark and then briskly set about dismantling my porn mag sofa – alright, I'm exagerrating, it was the equivalent of a small footstool.

That remark has stuck with me for years, and so have others, and of course he was right, as I've said before. Dad was always right in some respect or other and now I guess we'll all have to rely upon our own moral compasses to set us straight – not that I'm planning on building another porn mag sofa.

During the week, Jon and I spent the night at the family home, sleeping in our old room. Mum had made us dinner and we'd sat chatting about old times. I think mum enjoyed our company and we plan to go back and do it again soon. Last night our sister Clarissa (we call her Criss) spent the night and was probably up with the lark and drinking tea by the patio door, looking out on mum's truly amazing garden.

What's really amazing is that they have regular visits from a handful of foxes and they feed them with sausage rolls and bits of bread. When I came downstairs at 0530hrs and drew back the curtains, there on the lawn was a small audience of foxes awaiting their breakfast, which was duly provided by mum.

The garden was their pride and joy and I know that dad wanted to go home to it as soon as possible. His constant request while in hospital last week was "I want to go home". We all knew why; it's such a serene place to be. Sadly, he never returned, but we're planning to scatter his ashes in the garden.

Dad has inspired me to start tidying up my own garden and as soon as I get some cash I'll buy a few shrubs. I've had a couple of bonfires, something else dad loved, and I'm planning two more over the weekend to get rid of the last clump of old branches pruned from the trees.

One thing I'm really looking forward to is cycling. It really is therapeutic (is that spelt correctly?) as it takes my mind off of things. I might even ride out to Botley Hill later today.

1 comment:

  1. mate, I can understand the emotion. I am going through the same thing. Its odd because it "hits" at the most unexpected moments. Yesterday I felt like doing nothing, but pushed on anyway. I think to keep moving is the key to it all and the bikes just the trick