My brother drew this on our Christmas card.
One of my favourite things (and scariest things) about human beings is how they’re influenced and shaped by the significant people in their lives.
My dad was shaped by his tough Irish mother and Londoner father Eddie, who lived by some firm values of fairness, integrity, honesty and loyalty. Dad looked up to and respected Eddie. I hope some of this has filtered down but been combined with increasingly open minds.
I’ve enjoyed getting to know my old man the past few years. I feel like as I’ve grown up recently we’ve began to see commonalities as human beings as well as father / child. I was probably a difficult person for him to understand when I was a teenager and I’m glad that’s behind me.
I know what makes me happy and healthy and it’s what he’s always been telling me. A lot of these things we share, wildlife, walking the dogs, reading in the sun, riding bikes, means it’s not difficult to spend some time.
I’ll always be searching for the right balance in so many aspects of my life and I don’t know if he thinks he found it in his but it seems to be working out alright after a few bumps in the road.
I’m ever grateful for the guidance in relation to my chosen career. Bearing in mind he never wanted this for me, his support for me has been vital. He’s said that he feels somewhat responsible for my taking this direction but, as was noted by somebody yesterday, he made me strong in my own mind. So, I think he knows it’s more a case of him opening my eyes to the idea of this life and I was drawn to it of my own accord. Although he tried to hide the more extreme things he came across, he didn’t filter it in all senses. I saw the challenges that come with it as well as the benefits.
My dad’s always been honest with me. But he doesn’t wear ridiculously short shorts anymore… it’s bib tights.
Since I first started listening to hardcore Have Heart have spoken to me on a few different subjects. And near to every Father’s Day this song is in my head.
He was a kind hearted man in a hateful world
Who caught every thing that life ever hurled
Like the oldest fucking mountain he always stood so tall
Forever showing what it means to be unbreakable
This has always been one of my favourite photographs in general but especially of Eartha Kitt and from this era. She looks powerful, calm, comfortable in herself and like she’d take no shit.
Eartha was also full of pure gold when it came to verbalising her ideas and feelings.
“I’m a dirt person. I trust the dirt. I don’t trust diamonds and gold.”
Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay
And now I’m laughcrying with my third grandad. Spike Milligan.
Why am I so emotional at the moment?
And why am I emotional about things I wouldn’t usually be emotional about?
(Side note: I’m also still getting emotional about dogs so that’s not different- may have been on the dogs trust site and found two perfect dogs)
I know why I get emotional on the phone to my doc- it’s because he’s too far away and I’m getting frustrated about the fact that our contact is messages and poorly timed phone calls during which I sometimes find his voice hard to read.
I think I just need a cuddle. I realised not too long ago that I’m a fairly tactile person and being able to touch something or someone is quite a key part of communication for me. Naturally, Doc is at the apex of the touch / intimacy pyramid.
I have a few pathetic days but I think this time apart puts it into perspective a bit. I think it’ll be good to have experienced this when things change a bit come the summer and we work out a new pattern. Compared to the few weeks before he went (When I got a bit greedy with time with him and a bit neglectful of my own life) I’m making more plans for myself despite being exhausted from my current working weeks and can see the long game rather than just the immediate in front of my face.
It’s all about balance. As always.
I’ve also been too inconsiderate to think about how it might make him feel when I tell him I miss him.
Completely neglected to entertain that side of this situation. I’ve thought about how he’s feeling in general all the time obviously. But not really in relation to what I’m saying to him over here and usually I’m quite aware of how things will affect other people.
I know he wouldn’t like to see / hear me upset but apparently I have no control over when I cry these days so that’s fab. 👍🏼
Wise words at a dark time for love and justice.
I’m not irrational about it. I’m also not overly outwardly emotional as is my usual response to these feelings.
I’m upset that I’m not in Ireland with my dad and my other family but I made a lot of progress driving today so I’m taking that positive forward. I’m raising a Guinness to the family I’ve lost and the lives they’ve lived.
I’m upset that I didn’t get over there in the last couple of years because I loved her and I love it there and I want to go back soon. Hopefully we can spend some time in Dublin and Kilkenny.
I’m glad that I was with Katie this weekend. We shared some memories of May and Fred and talked a bit about our fathers. She doesn’t say much about how she feels but she said she was excited for me to be in that part of the country more. That’s high praise.
I got Father’s Day wrong again. I want to spend more time with my dad. He’s so kind and actually a perfect example of the way Fred, May, his dad, and I imagine his mum, would have wanted him to be. He tells me I’m more of a Parker than a Smith. Either way I will always wish I knew those grand people better than I did. I wish I was older when the long lost were around and I wish I’d managed to get over to Ireland more recently.
It’s been on the list for Katie and I for years it just never came off. We both look like our mothers but there’s a lot of Parker in both of us I think and some tough Smith to temper it. My dad looks and moves quite Parker and his brother has the stature of a Smith, or just his dad. I don’t know many others.
I don’t wish she’d lived longer so that we could go over there and see her. However happy it would have made her. She would have hated being in hospital and having people fuss and being uncomfortable and knowing she was ill. But I wish I’d made the trip sooner. I know these feelings of regret or guilt are normal and common in situations like this and I know May had a busy life and her family around her but I hope she wasn’t lonely. I wish I’d written to her more.
I’m not sure I believe in the possibility of a reunion in death but tonight I’m drinking to May no longer missing Fred. And if there was feeling she might have had at the last moment, I hope it was his hand giving hers a little squeeze.