I was going to write about my painting of Cullen discolor, but Dads have been on my mind over the last few days.
I know of 4 women whose Dads have died over the last few weeks. It is so sad to lose those special people, men who have had such an impact on their lives. My thoughts are with you.
My Dad died 7 years ago. I find myself missing him more in the quiet moments. I thought that family gatherings would be difficult, but, as they are times of pleasure in each other’s company, I know that Dad’s memory there with us.
I had one of those quiet moments recently that have made me reflect on memories and remembering and where to look for my Dad. My birthday is usually a family affair. This year though my Mum and other family members are overseas and celebrations are put on hold. However, my gorgeous Mum left me presents and a card. I always have a tinge of sadness when I read the cards from Mum, because in the past Dad would always sign them too. Now there is only ‘Mum’ and not ‘Mum and Dad’. This year lack of dad brought tears to my eyes.
But while I was feeling that I was also musing about remembering Dad, thinking about how others are remembering their Dads. And then I put two things together. (Like many profound thoughts, I know I am not the first to think it. In fact I suspect I am quite slow in getting around to making the connection. 🙂 )
I understood the idea of holding someone in your heart to mean that you store the memories of that person. You bring them out, like a photo album, to look at them, to remember how he answered the phone or where he sat to watch the birds in the bird bath or how he would always come out to wave goodbye. Some things trigger them off — “My Dad used to do that too!” Memories are so important.
I understood too, in a separate part of my knowing, that I am so much like my Dad, just as I am so much like my Mum. I grew up with people telling me I looked just like him. Mum says I have his lovely brown eyes. (While she is biased about both of us, I take the compliment!) There are a myriad of things that come from his gene pool.
I also knew so much of my personality comes from Dad, just as so much comes from Mum. I have a love of birds and the environment from him, my creativity too. I am slow to anger and love to allow things to unfold around me.
And then I had my profound thought. That dad is in my heart, not just through memories, but also because he was so influential in shaping who I am, and who I am still to be. And I don’t think it is only the genetic component. Every interaction had a subtle influence on me. Some of those were very conscious, obvious, others not even registering. But they were there.
It moved me on to think about looking for my Dad in the others in my family. I want to catch glimpses of him now in my sister and brothers, their partners, the grandchildren. I would love to know how Dad has affected their lives. I would like to make a memory box. (As I have just thought of this as I write, I don’t know what I mean, beyond talking to the others about Dad and leaving some of his legacy in a concrete form for Mum.)
My musing went on to think about people who have no DNA in me, but have still influenced who I have become and who I am still to be. Obviously in all our lives there are key people who are not relatives. But again, I think that who we are is shaped by all our interactions, not just the big ones that encourage us to examine ourselves in a different light. Just think about our blogging world. Each time I read what you want to tell me, there is a thought, a book, a photo that makes me see the world in a slightly different way.
If this is true, then so is the opposite ~ we influence others too.
I like the idea that we are all stardust. I also like the idea that we are all connected and related, and that what we do influences others. The aim, it seems to me is to make those connections, interactions and relations as positive as possible.
And now I will be looking for my Dad, and remembering him in more unlikely places.