Father’s Day is coming up on the weekend. We shopped this afternoon and as long as Mr Amazon delivers on time, we’re gonna be awesome at the gift giving. If not we’ll have a do over. Wouldn’t be the first time 😉
I started thinking of the father influences in my life. Of course I had my dad until very recently and I’ve written about him here and here. I miss him everyday. But I was thinking about others who have influenced my image of a Father.
My Granddad died when I was 10, he lived 8 hours away until the last 18 months of his life. I didn’t have a lot of time with him but I still have great memories.He came from England with my grand mother and 5 kids in 1956, the oldest child coming later, to a land so totally foreign to him that he longed to return to England for the rest of his life. He never did. His children thrived in the new land though and so he sacrificed for his children. He left his family to make a new, better life for his children. I do remember learning about Roman Numerals from him, sitting quietly on the front step, him patiently teaching me. That’s my strongest memory. He was an artist, a creative sole and a piano restorer and tuner. Funny how life works… I married one of those 😛 Maybe Granddad was more influence than I thought.
My Pop was a hard man, a victim of the times, he married young, in the 20’s it’s what you did when you’re girl was in trouble. He was a tyrant of a father and the stories my dad told of his childhood were awful. Later in life Pop mellowed but only slightly. I heard stories that I was his favourite grandchild when I was little but I never felt that way. He loved the land but circumstances took him away from that love. I think it made him bitter. My earliest memories of him were visiting as a kid. By that stage, Nan and Pop lived on a one acre block in a large country town. To us kids that back yard was amazing, full of fruit trees and a vegie garden to die for, a chook shed with lots of chooks and there was even a sheep or 2 right down the back that Pop would fatten up, then kill to eat. It was the 70’s but they lived like it was the 30’s still. Nan used to cook on an old fuel stove, heated by fire wood only. She was a tremendous cook. It was quite the country retirement. As they got older, they decided to move closer to their boys and sold up and moved to our town. The block was way smaller, no room for big garden. In fact I can’t remember if he had a vegie garden but he may have. I do remember he made a hothouse out of the back verandah. The ferns he grew were so beautiful! Like a rainforest. Those next couple of years we became closer, I showed interest in his plants and he would spend time in the hothouse teaching me. He would give the scrawny little ferns in the old pots to me to learn to grow them. My bedroom from the age of 12 looked like a nursery. I ruined the windowsill from the water. By the time I was 13, he was dying of bone marrow cancer, we used to go and visit him a couple of times a week in the hospital. It was boring but that’s what you do for family. I was a kid, not as sophisticated as 13 yos are today. I didn’t really understand the process. He died in September and I remember dealing with death for the first time. He died just before his 73rd birthday, just like his son…. Is there something in that?
I have a large family and many uncles on both sides. I have good relationships with all of them and feel a father type connection with them all. I feel very lucky to have had so many different male influences in my life.
To the King, the father of my children. I find blessings everyday. I don’t always agree with his fathering, but parenting is a journey. He had different influences to me. His childhood was very different to mine and his father had a very different approach. Some of it rubbed off and some of it showed the King how NOT to do stuff. I love everything he does with and for his children. A better husband and father I couldn’t wish for, he completes me … 😉
I wish for all the fathers a meaningful day with their children. Not everyone has a happy relationship but I hope Father’s Day can help bring families together. For those whose father’s have gone on without them, I pray for peace and happy memories.