Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dad

It is twenty years today since my father died. Well since I found out anyway, he died sometime during the early hours of the morning.

The last time I spoke to him I called him from a phone box somewhere on the Southern NSW or Northern Victorian coast. I don't remember where we were or how long before he died it was. Perhaps 3 weeks or a month. That might sound odd now, that I would speak to him so seldom but with communication not so readily available then, as it is now, that was just normal for our family.

I remember he told me he was giving up smoking and that he had had a cancerous spot cut out from near his eye. "Give up smoking Love" he implored. It took me another ten years but I did it in the end. So there is some symmetry for me in today isn't there? It's hard to believe I can measure these huge milestones in my life in decades now and in a strange way realising that it is 10 years since I stopped smoking makes it seem less time since I lost my father. Those first 10 years went mind numbingly slower than the second, such is the age induced speeding up of time I suppose?

My husband went fishing on a friend's boat last night. Boat fishing always makes me miss my father most keenly. He would have loved coming to visit us here on the coast and going out fishing with us. He always dreamt that in his retirement he would be able to do these things. In the end his retirement was only 1 year long. He died aged 61. I feel ripped off, my kids feel ripped off, I think he was ripped off....Dying sucks.

I haven't spoken to my mother or my siblings about my father yet today. I suppose I should and yet my relationship with him was different from theirs. So sometimes talking to them about him takes him away from me and I resent that. I am my father's daughter. As a way of abusing me my mother thinks she is putting me down when she reiterates about how much like him I am. She couldn't be any more wrong. My father was friendly and accepting, loving and generous. I couldn't be more proud than to be told I am like he was.

I miss you Dad.