Friday, June 02, 2006

..

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad.

I miss you.

I'm sorry that you and Mum aren't having the joint 60th birthday party that you were both planning. I know that would have been really special, I would have come home just for that. It's not everyday that you and your soulmate turn six decades old, within a couple months of each other! I know it would have been great, you had so many friends and the place that it was going to be at was beautiful. And right next door, which was just too perfect.

We found out about the surprise holiday you were planning as a birthday present for Mum. I know she would have loved it, had you had the time to complete it.

You should be at home today, waking up at some (to me) ungodly hour like seven or eight in the morning. Then you would be going out to get The Independent newspaper, like you always did, despite my protests that it's not as interesting as The Daily Mail, because it doesn't have cartoons in it.

Then (at some more respectable hour, ie, when the normal world awakes) you should be getting given presents from Mum and me and Helen and Lucy, even though we all know you hate fuss, we can't help it, but you always let us fuss over you anyway, even though it embarassed you, purely for the reason that, you know that we wanted to. You were just selfless like that. Golf balls, fudge, socks, a book by Agathe Christie, some golf related merchandise, the usual I guess. You'd be all bashful, and you'd get your kids names mixed up even though we're nothing alike because you were funny like that. Then when we finally let you leave the house, you should be playing golf in the sun with your friends for your birthday, and enjoying pratting about in the way that only immature older males en masse can.

Then you would come home, and I would pester you and ask you whether you won, and then you would give me a speech about handicaps, birdies, eagles, putters, drivers, tees, bloody young golfers, like you used to. And I would nod and smile, and be proud that I understood at least fifty percent of the golf jargon. You'd tell me about the stupid things and phrases that your friends came up with by accident, which would make me laugh because they were always brilliant, and you'd make a note of them in your book.

I, at some point in the day, should be making some age related joke, in good spirits. Oh I wouldn't have been able to let the 60 years mark just pass, without some kind of jest, you know it.

Then we'd probably go and run some everday errand together, like we always did, and I'd carry things for you, because the doctors wouldn't let you lift heavy things anymore.

Then later on it would all die down, I guess, it's not like you would have encouraged or attempted to prolong the fuss! And the day would have ended as usual, with you and Mum sitting together in the living room, and holding hands and watching TV and reading the newspaper, until it got late and you both fell asleep by the fire, whereas I would go on for hours and stay up all night, nocturnal creature that I am.

It should be happening today. It should. But it's not. You should be at home. But you're not. You're not meant to be in that graveyard. It wasn't your time.

I didn't know what to do with myself today. I went out and sat in Alexandria Square for a few hours at two or three in the morning, and I thought about you. Not that I don't think about you all the time, anyway. I also remembered how when we visited this University together, for the first time last year when I was trying to decide whether to attend here or not, we both got quite lost...and for once, I was the one who managed to navigate us both out again. Which was really odd, because it was always you who had the good sense of direction, and me who was comparitively rubbish. Like the time I managed to send us in completely the wrong direction on the moors in Devon, that was so funny. You're so patient. I still adamantly blame the fog for my miscalculations. But anyway, at this Uni, for once I learned the layout quicker than you did. Perhaps it was a sign that this was the University for me, or something.

Then I listened to your music and thought about you some more. I couldn't cry, because there were people around. Bloody students, they are still running around the University even in he middle of the night.

I am sorry I am not there visiting your grave today.

I know that it would have been so distressing for us, when I left home for the first time and went to University. We would have missed each other rotten. I used to be at home all the time, and so were you. We would have gone from seeing each other everyday, all day, to seeing each other periodically and only talking on the phone. It would have been horrible to adjust to, and we both would have been sad. If you hadn't gone, just a month before I left. I guess that this way, you can't miss me. At least one of us doesn't have to deal with missing the other. At least one of us doesn't have to deal with having a huge bleeding hole in their life.

I do though. I can't bear it.

I love you Dad, we all miss you.

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