Memories of Dad
For some of us, Father's Day brings with it a lot of different emotions. Perhaps ones of sadness but I am hoping that it stirs up more the happy and joyous memories of our Dads.
Dads may often feel like the unsung heroes as they try their hardest to keep the family unit together between providing food, shelter, safety and a place of unconditional love.
My parents were divorced when I was very young, so I did not know much about my Dad growing up. We lived in different cities which meant that every June school holidays, my Sister and I would pack our little suitcases and head off for the airport to visit our Dad.
All I really knew about him was that he was a very busy man, a Doctor running large hospitals. So holidays with him did not amount to much time with him. He would leave the house at 4h30 each morning before the rooster even crowed and come home weary each evening at 19h00.
At this time, he was totally unknown to me. He always seemed so serious and stressed. Taking care of so many people and their endless problems. He did not show his emotions, so hugs were rather a one sided affection.
Other than our weeks' holiday, he would religiously call us on our birthdays and Christmas. I can still remember those awkward calls as if they were yesterday. "Yes Hello Jennifer. This is your Dad. How are you ? How is school ? Good Good. Well just wanted to say Happy Birthday / Christmas. Bye."
As I grew up under the guidance of my Mum and since I felt like I did not know much about this guy we called Dad. I was thus always under the impression, that I took after my Mum 100%. This, I have to be honest, scared the macaroni out of me as she was a tough and difficult human being. She had a lot of good points of course, but all in all we butted heads a lot.
In 1999 I was fortunate enough to move to the same city as my dear old Dad. Over the next years, I could finally get to know him better over gardening, woodwork, tea drinking and computer literary training [for him not me :)]. The more I got to know him, the more (thankfully) I realised that I had inherited his sense of humour, his laugh, his smile, his willingness to keep on learning no matter what. Every time we got together, he made me want to be a better person and strive for better.
Over the years, I came to realise that I had in fact inherited that best traits of my Mum AND my Dad. How lucky am I !!!
Note to my Dad
Wishing my Dad all the way over in South Africa, a very Happy Fathers Day ! You may not have always been around, but you are the best Dad to me.
Below image - Mum & Dad on their wedding day : December 1965 Cape Town South Africa. Photo Credit : Charles Field