Remembering My Dad
It’s a year since my Dad died, and I think about him more often now than I did when he was still alive.
I have the time to sit and muse – to remember all the best times, rather than the frantic last few years of his life, when his ever increasing needs took up every spare minute of my time and thoughts.
From shopping, cooking and cleaning, to haring up and down the A1 to visit him in a 200 mile round trip – and that’s not to mention the extra journeys we made just to ‘fix’ his television remote (which wasn’t actually broken – just complicated!).
When Mum died some 13 years ago, Dad’s grief was the most heart rending grief I’ve ever witnessed. He ‘visited’ her each and every day at their special spot by Rutland Water, and sat for hours on her bench drinking coffee from a flask, and tending a little garden he’d made for her there. He had countless photographs of her pinned all around the house. He grieved, and remembered, and yearned for the days when they were together. Now, when I see all the photographs taken chronicling their life I can begin to get an idea of the love they had and the memories they made together.
They met on 10th Augsut 1952 at the age of 15, when they were on holiday in Mablethorpe with their respective families. Coincidentally, they both kept diaries and had each recorded the day they met! And they had their photograph taken by the ever-present photographer on the prom.
Later, Dad’s job with the Foreign Office saw them travelling abroad together for 25 years, before they returned home to retire. And now we have the pleasure of sifting through boxes and boxes of photographs, seeing and enjoying memories of Mum and Dad as teenagers, of our family as we were growing up, and getting a glimpse of their adventures abroad. What an absolute privilege.
We live in a digital world now, but I fervently hope that our lives don’t remain locked in our mobile phones. What a terrible loss for future generations if we don’t give them boxes of gorgeous photographs to wallow in when we’re gone!