12 July 2008

Dear Dadadad

It’s been three years, since them angels came and took you away to play chess with Ivor and ask all the angel waitresses – “is the kettle broken, duckie?”

I see Tabitha now sat beside you, on the arm of your chair, as it always was, and always should be. My two familiars together and watching over us.

What’s happened, Dadadadad? Where did life begin to speed up so fast? Was there a corner turned or intersection crossed that I don’t remember flying by? I know I’ve started to grow up, not just in this skin, but in this head too. Finally, I hear you sigh. Hehe.

Every day I look at the people around me and see how blessed I am. And how hard I have worked to be here. And how it just makes me want to work harder.

To work harder at work, work harder at life, work harder at being a mommy, and most of all, work harder at being just me. You always said that was enough. Enough for me, enough for you, enough for them, and that if it was not enough for the world, I should just ignore the world and carry on.

I’m carrying on, Dadadadad. I have felt defeated and broken and shitty, to be frank. There have been many days when I have wanted to sit across from you at the diningroom table, sunlight streaming in through the windows behind you (you do realise, we never, ever got around to putting the curtains back up after we came back from George hey? haha) and talk about everything and nothing. To drink tea, play cards, smoke and pontificate, interrupted only by cats and food and peebreaks. Peebreaks. You taught me that word.

The house, Dadadad, it’s gone and different now. I know you are not within there. I have felt you beyond it since you left us. I know you watch over it, and are happy that the UM set herself free from it. New beginnings. I worry you think we’d forget you, you and your “i am just a mushroom in the dark” mentality. We have not. In everything we do, every day, we remember you.

When I sit here, in this yellow-walled office, behind my laptop and type, smacking the keyboard, I think of you. Think of you, and waking up at 2am to hear you smacking that keyboard. Working towards doing something good in the world, helping someone. Hoping that you’re helping someone, somewhere. I have that same drive. Every time I turn this monster on, I think two things “oh crikey, more email” and “I want to do one good thing for someone today. if i can just do that, i know i’m okay”.

I’ll never be able to thank you and hate you enough for that drive – the drive that you and Mum imbued in each of us. The drive to help, to assist, to aid, to, as it’s called “hold hands”. And in all the noise and chaos and craziness, I know we are all holding hands, somehow, even when we’re shouting at each other.

I’d like to tell you about your grandchildren. I am sure you look at those three girls, and think “oh boy, in eighteen years’ time, i wish you lot luck”. You’d be right.

Cameron is phenomenal. She talks and talks and talks (no idea where she gets that from) and is so honest in her feelings, and expressing them. There was a moment this morning, we were having our morning cuddle, and I thought of you. You’d love morning cuddle. Sometimes I think you are watching us and cuddling too. If there is one thing Cameron has inherited directly from you, it’s her ability to hug and love without inhibition. You always gave the best hugs, and now I get them from Cameron. Thank you.

N-B is growing so quickly, and is the proudest big sister of all time. She’s responsible and caring, and above all things, is passionate. She dives into everything and is not afraid to try anything once, twice and three times if it makes her smile. She is always smiling and is so, so funny. I like to think, she gets her ability to smile all the time from you. No matter what, you always had a smile for us. Thank you.

K-J is just beginning to grow, and I hear very well indeed. When I held her, I felt that extreme peace you always spoke of, when you hold someone that is related to you. That is your family. Her little fingers reminded me of the fragility of life, and the wonder of the world through a newborn’s eyes. My brother, your son, is the proudest and most wonderful father. When I see him, he reminds me more and more of you. Strong and clear and profoundly in the moment. You were so, so right when you said that R and A had the strongest marriage, through thick and thin and inbetween. You were right, I can only think that they learnt from the best.

Sam was just here recently. One thing I can definitely say, is that she got the snore from you 😉 No, really, my sister is just like me it scares me. Just more bravely so. Unforgivingly so. And yet, so much of a soft heart. But, bloody hell, I would not want to meet her in the wrong end of a dark alleyway, if you know what I mean.

The UM. The UM is so graceful. She always has been, in a particular way, hey? Sure, we all know about the ability to throw stuff in the faces of pigs (we all have that ability!) but, with such grace. As I grow up, and keep moving, I see mom’s grace and am inspired. She is happy in her new abode, and I think she loves the way the sun moves its way across the rooms. She always was a sucker for sunlight. I get that from her, I know.

Dadadad, I miss you. I miss sitting on the lawn and talking. In our house, we were always talking, even when we didn’t want to talk to each other. Teehee Teehee. I wonder what you’d think about so much, but I feel your gentle guidance always. You are in everything I do, see. When I work, I know my drive to work is genetic. When I love, i know my unashamed love is purely part of me. When I live, in every second, I know I alive because of the life you gave me. Even when I am sad, I know I am not alone.

You taught me how important people are, and to always remember to honour them, and I try my best to. I look around me at the people I am surrounded by, and I know they are good, and strong, and there. Every day, I hope I do enough back. I know your opinion on this already though, and theirs too. I am very, very blessed indeed, and yes, I “have good friends”.

Dadadadad, I hope you are good. All-round good, and that the chelsea buns are fresh and that you have no need or desire to watch the laundry spin round the washing machine. Only you would understand that reference.

Dadadad, I must end off now. You are in my heart, my hands and my home. Always.

For you today…

My Inheritance – CSMJ

Someone once asked me, what will your parents leave you when they have gone away to heaven?

I had no answer.

The truth is:


They’ve given it to me already.

You gave me life. Was that not enough?

Apparently not.

You have in my life
(as little and as short as it has been thus far…)
taught me so much.

The way I detail things intimately and fully.
The way I exclaim with joy or scream with anger.
The way I can swing from happy to sorrowful in a moment.
The way I love and hate in complete ways.
The way I love the little things.
The way my happiness abounds when I am joyful.
The way my sorrow is overwhelming when I am sad.
The way my hair grows, my funny toes.
The way I talk with my hands.
The way I stare off into space when I think.
The way I laugh wholeheartedly.
The way I like to do things properly or not at all.
The way I like everyone to listen to me when I speak.
The way I grin when I’ve succeeded.
The way I moan when I have made a mistake.

The way I write things.

2 thoughts on “12 July 2008”

  1. For Fred,

    We will think of you tomorrow, and hope for more aerial action.

    For Caff – this was so powerful, so beautiful. Each day I see these things in you, and its such a priviledge to know where (and who) they come from.

    Your Dadadad did a wonderful job with you and I know he is proud. Always.

  2. The woman who has been my substitute mother for the past 13 years has been diagnoticed with brain tumor this week.
    I keep on praying not so that she will return to health but that if she should leave now all her family will be here for her ex-daughter in law has turned two of her grand children against her.

    I don’t want to let myself give up on hope because I don’t want to sound pessimistic to people who love her (and we are an army!) but the more I try to disregard what I feel the more I stumble over things such as your post and I hate to admit that I really need to write to her to tell her how much she means to me and I hate to have to do it because I know it would be a good bye letter and I am not ready to let her go at all.
    She is not too young to die but she is not old enough either and her B-Day is in a few days.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
    I just realized that you wrote this post on my B-Day. I guess I ought to write this letter.

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