Dear Dadadadad. The Elephant in the Room.

Dear Dadadadad

Today’s an anniversary for you and me. Today, three years ago, I told you that you were right. I told you what noone else would accept, ‘fess up to and tell you, for true. (for true, teehee, teehee).

You always said I was brave.

I stood there, mountainous, in a dress I loved when bought, and hated and could never wear again because it reminded me so much of the look on your face when you said “ducky, i’ve let the team down”.

Fittingly, you were wearing your golden brown jersey, the first one I ever saw you in, that day you peered over into my cot. Noone ever believes that I remember that. I must have been two days old. Noone but you. There’s a photo of it, but that’s not what sparks the memory in my head. The thing that sparks my memory of that is not in that photo. You know this.

It seemed fitting to me, in a melodramatic (‘drama, drama, drama, cathy, you love the drama’ – you are the only person who can EVER call ME cathy…), kind of way that this was how it would play out.

I was then shuffled out and made to wait on a plasticine chair (it sure as hell felt like it), and got to watch another family break bread over another plasticine table and talk as though nothing was happening, despite their reason for being there. They also had the elephant in the room, the same elephant as ours, and there they were, also trying not to look at it or talk about it. Like everyone else we knew.

They let me back in to sit with you, and you said ‘hello bump, shall we talk about what your favourite colour will be? happier things, please’.

And there we were, the two of us. You called it “laden up with death and life, us. Me with death, you with life. shit”. We laughed though, the pair of us, and had tea. A right Monty Python skit indeed.

We faced that elephant in the room, and taunted him a little with some peanuts. Laughed at him trying to fit through the doorway, and held hands when he finally stood in front of us.

I never wanted to leave you that day. We always somehow managed to confront the Elephant In the Room, no matter how much you or I or the world around, tried to avoid or ignore it. In any situation, I knew you and I could talk about the Elephant, whichever one it was that day.

Everyone in the world seems to ignore their Elephants. I think the reason why I am unashamed of talking about mine is that you taught me not to be. I wish there was still you that I could take my Elephants to, and splurge them, and have you veto or okay them. It always turned out that they were really mice, after then. I think I am some people’s Elephant. Well, they think I am. Truth is though, as you well know, I am but a mouse.

True, life and you have taught me that in dealing with the Elephants, they do become mice. And thus far, I have been able to, with time and splurging, been able to handle them.

But, some days, I want your Elephant Taming Skills. And your teeth-breaking chelsea buns, and for you to look at me over your glasses and say:

‘it doesn’t matter anyway’.

I want you to know that Cameron’s favourite bedtime story is “The Owl and The Pussycat”.

I bought that book on that same day, and kept it. I didn’t go and seek it out. It, literally, found me. Like all the good things that you told me would come.

Oh, and just so you know, I do get your feathers.

I kept it in vain hope that you would be able to read it to her, but knowing that it would be me to do so. I went home after that, sat, read it and hoped against hope that the truth in my brain would be wrong, and that the hope in my heart would be.

It wasn’t.

We found that out a few months later when, I was standing next to you, and kissed you byebye for the last time.

Every night, just about, she takes it off the bookshelf and says “mommy, the kittycat story”.

For you, Dadadad, I read that story and Cameron and I sail away on a “peagreen boat”, before she goes to sleep.

Somewhere, I know, you too, are dancing, “by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon”.


P.S. tracy told me this morning that Cameron has your eyes. I’ve never seen it that way before but she’s right. She sends all her love, and you know she’s pregnant too now? And Sarah. And Jo, as you remember, has Crystal. All the girls. How we have indeed grown.
P.P.S. Keep sending the feathers.

the house

someone very dear to me, inexplicably dear to me, said this to me recently.

he said, ‘let it go, the memories are in your head anyway’.

he was right. so right. as flipping always.

true, my heart breaks that soon, very soon, i won’t have a childhood home to run home to. not that I have very often of late. but, it’s the second to last step before i am forced to totally give up living, at least occasionally in my head, as a child.

but, emoness aside, he was right. so i thought i’d write this note and add to it as i can, about the memories that funny crazy messy noisy house holds for me

parties. i cant remember childhood ones. i remember the big and crazy ones we had. where cd players got broken and reputations grew and friendships flourished.
garry under the light with lisa
sarah and tracy reading the books, the start of it all, at 2am
the entrance window
you knocking and leaving notes on my window
room parties
wine on the wall
cupboard graffiti and how it got there
huddled in the garden
laughing laughing laughing
crying crying crying
watching them thatch the cabana. i was three.
christmas eve with the christmas stockings
moms ankle clicking as she walked down the passage
waking up with a cat on my head and my best friends strewn around the room. sometimes in the yard too. hahaa.
the kettle boiling. it was always boiling.
dinner time. the best time of the day. or the worst time of the day
3am tea with my dad
lying in bed and listening to him type all night
the couch in front of the tv
three ‘musics’ emanating from three rooms, worlds and enigmas – the passage cacophony
talking, talking, talking, it was never quiet
cigarette smoke, tea brewing.
mom’s cooking. as interesting as it got some days. (anybody who raises an eyebrow at UFOs knows why)
cuddled on the couch and reading.

I’m crying now. I must stop for today. I miss you very much. But you’re in my head and my heart, not in the house.