I often think about my Dad, but he has been in my thoughts even more over the last few days. He was a most generous, compassionate man.
He left school when he was 14 and always resisted anything to do with writing. That was until he found the computer in his early 70s. Then he discovered that he had a gift for writing stories. He began writing down the stories that he had told us when we were children. Every family has those stories, about grandfathers and and great aunts, tall tales and funny ones. But Dad’s stories then developed to family history, all written as if he was sitting there with you, telling you the stories over a cup of coffee.
Then Dad wrote about his war experiences. He was very proud to have them accepted by the War Memorial in Canberra. He wrote stories for the children in the family — my cats had a starring role! His work is a treasured possession.
But I am lucky too because I have some of Dad’s other creative work. He tried drawing for a little while, but was never satisfied with what he did. “I can only copy, Anne,” he would tell me. I would reply that that is all I do with botanical art; I copied real specimens rather than the photos he used. But he was never convinced. I have his wooden art case and remember him every time I take it to art sessions. (It is perfect too, because it will fit everything necessary in, without room for the unnecessary.)
Dad then took his drawing skills to design stained glass work. He made these blue wrens for me and they are in a window in my study. (Birds were another passion of his.) I paint my leaves and feathers and plants, look up at these birds and be reminded of all the treasures that my Dad has given to me.
However, I think the greatest treasure he gave to me was his humanity ~ the knowledge that all people have the right to be treated with decency and compassion, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
6 replies on “My Dad”
What a wonderful post. 🙂 Your dad sounds like a lovely, talented man and those wrens on the fence are just beautiful.
Thank you for sharing.
Completely lovely Anne – very moving… Thank you 🙂
Wow. I noticed the stained glass in your header and wondered about its provenance. How wonderful your dad had the time, means and inclination to create tangible memories for his family as well as intangible. Glorious post – the love shines through 🙂
Thank you — the love is certainly there. You are right, Dad did have the time means and inclination. He was lucky as he retired early, which gave him the time to explore a number of projects. Finally it was the writing bug that bit hardest — as it seems to do with writers!
Thank you for sharing your feelings; perhaps it was a recent loss? My mother died in May 2012 and although the gut-wrenching and uncontrollable grief has passed, the missing and the longing remain, and at times her presence is very strong. Like you I return to that ghost world at times. It was in order to deal with bereavement that I started exploring London with Bradshaw’s Hand Book and writing and photographing at http://londondiaryblog.wordpress.com It is ‘a fact’ that time heals, but it seems that span of that time may be very long.
Oh Candy, you must miss your Mum so much. I hope that your explorations of London bring you some comfort. And maybe a little closer to your Mum? The reason for posting about my Dad was that it was his birthday, and he would have been 90. He died in 2007, but he is still with me — a part of the emotional as well as physical fabric of my life.
Does ‘time heal’? I am not sure. I watch a dear friend who lost a child many years ago, and the wound is still there. Maybe time gives us the perspective on things, time to think, to see where that person fits into us. Maybe too to allow us to take parts and leave others.