Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LETTER TO A FATHER

My Dad as a young man, with the ladies.


My dearest Dad,

As the fortieth anniversary of the day I lost you draws to a close, I can hardly believe that I have got through all these years without you, that I am already ten years older than you were when you died, or that I have been unable to discuss with you so many events, both personal and of worldwide importance:  you knew nothing of the political excesses of the woman whose funeral took place in our country earlier today and, whilst you would have admired her resolve, you would have been horrified at her rigidity and hardness. The fall of the Berlin Wall; the Mandela release; the life and death of Diana, Princess of Wales; the death of the Queen Mother, for whom, though you were no royalist, you felt the affection of your generation of Brits; climate change, the euro, New Labour;  9/11, 7/7, the Arab Spring....  all these you have missed and I have held imagined conversations with you about every one of them.

You'd have pronounced the mobile phone a miracle, marvelled equally at the internet and "played" with the latter as you probably did with your train set as a boy. Post-it notes would have irritated you, the Rubik's Cube perplexed you and downloadable music delighted you. I'm  not sure what you would have made of e-books as I'm not certain what I think of them myself but I suspect that you, like me, would have held on to your library and been glad that you belonged to a generation that grew up with "real" books.

It was you, of course, who taught me to revere books, along with music, art and languages. You imparted to me your passion for Wales, the West Country and London;  you introduced me to Vichyssoise, Chop Suey and Welsh salted butter; you taught me to love dogs, yellowhammers and sparrows.  "Ah, he thinks it's there for him to dig", you would say as our various dogs, rather successfully, attempted to dig up our garden.  "If they were rare, people would travel miles to see them", you would say of the sparrows.

You could be impetuous, maddening, quick-tempered and outrageous but you were never unkind. Like me, you had probably absented yourself from the queue when patience was being handed out but I may just be getting better at this after eight years in Sicily!  

Italy is a country you never visited and sometimes I imagine what would have happened had you lived and been able to come with me. You adored sunshine and, though you were as fair-skinned as I am, the sun never dared to burn you. I like to think that you, too, would have enjoyed some "seasons in the sun" and appreciated the good aspects of what is still a wonderful country. And here we come to that other dimension of grieving, for it is not only when great events happen that I miss you. I miss you on beautiful days and on rainy ones, through all my "triumphs and disasters" and in so many daily, seemingly insignificant, moments of my life. Right now, I'm going through one of the most difficult periods I have ever experienced and I miss your sheer physical presence and the warmth of your hug - your hug that always made me feel safe.

Yet, as I write, I become aware that you gave me the mental tools to survive even this and that you also taught me forgiveness, tolerance and compassion.

My dear kind, imperfect, wonderful Dad, thank you for it all - especially the love.

For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

- Shakespeare
   Sonnet XX1X


13 comments:

rosaria williams said...

Oh PaT, THIS IS MOST TOUCHING!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Rosaria.

Tom Paine said...

What a moving tribute. What a lucky man to be so loved and so remembered.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Tom. That means a lot.

Claude said...

You are both very high quality people: mind, heart and spirit...May you always be sustained by the memory of your dear father who is still so much part of your life.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Claude. It is very kind of you to say so and your words help me a lot. x

Lee said...

A beautiful, emotive tribute, Pat.

We never do cease to miss our beloved departed...I know I haven't; and never will.

CherryPie said...

A beautiful tribute to your Dad :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you both so much, Lee and Cherie. xx

UBERMOUTH said...

Welshcakes,

I don't get around the blogs much anymore,as I no longer blog myself, but I wanted to 'see how you were'. :)

This post is incredible. But do not think that you are 'without' your dear,beloved father, for you are not.

It is astounding how quickly the time goes by, isn't it?

I was laying in bed the other day thinking of my own dearly departed grandfather and father,only to realize that they have been gone 10 years and 8, respectively, and I was shocked that so much time has slipped by.It seems unfathomable that it has already been 10 years since I lost granddad...and I still miss him so. :)

I hope that whatever troubles you, you sail through and it resolves itself quickly.

Sometimes, we ,in such turmoil, have to look to the tranquility of our pets and take a lesson from them.


I hope you're darling heart is well too. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Uber. It is very nice of you to come over and see how I am and thank you for commenting. Yes, it is incredible how the time goes by. I am sorry for your losses too. Thanks, too, for your good wishes regarding my present troubles. They help a lot. You are right about looking to our pets. Yes, my Simi is well, thank you, but getting older, like me! I hope you are well, too, Uber and I am thinking of you. x

Liz said...

Beautiful, Pat.

Hope you will soon emerge stronger and at peace from this dark period.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Liz. Your good wishes mean a lot. x

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