His arms were strong and he seemed so tall when we were his little girls. His eyes crinkled at the sides when he smiled, he nipped and tickled and made us squeal. Invincible he was way back when … when we were small. He brushed my hair and shared a joke. He made me feel loved. Each one of us thought we were his favourite, when really we were equal; in his eyes. He taught me how to polish boots so I could see my face and made me giggle more than once when I was saying grace. I remember him showing us, how he won a race, with his arm up in the air, flicking his fingers until they clicked re-living the moment, the winning post. That time; it was just for us, a private demonstration to entertain, a reconstruction riding the finish with commentary to boot.
He chastised me, taught me right from wrong. Sometimes he stood in my corner like a giant … a giant of a man but small. I learned some cheeky rhymes from him some I never understood. But he could make me laugh when I was feeling sad. Dad was the quintessential cheeky chappie, with a twinkle of a smile in his eye and a joke on his tongue. He’d give a flick with a towel to make us run. He would squeeze our hands until we made a squeal especially if solemnity was expected. His face would crinkle and his shoulders shake; in silent laughter.
Dad sat me on my first big horse and taught me how to make a warm mash. Horse husbandry he taught me, the hoof pick, the curry comb and how to groom. We would brush until the horse’s coat would gleam and persperation ran down my cheeks. He showed me how to plait my hair he taught me to ride a bike. I could see a lot in him that I would grow to like.
Now as a woman I watched a shadow of my Dad. Hanging on to the remnants of this cruel life. Those rheumy eyes searching our mothers face for what? … Looking hard into her, he was making sure she was still there. Clinging tightly on, a silent pact, a sliver of hope shoots back and forth between them. A look full of love that spans a lifetime of memories; both good and bad. Times spent in passion, lust and humour, love and anger all that was in between. The life he had before us and the sorries that went unheard; or unseen. Things he can never put right. Lying there, in his bed, there are things he will never be able to change, you cannot turn back time. “I can’t change the past,” he said.
Cruelly, slowly, painfully we watched life dragging him piece by piece, gouging away until he had no tomorrow’s. Years of life as a husband, a father, brother, uncle and a Gramps, it was all about to alter; and it did. Nothing will ever be the same, there is now a gap, a space, a gaping hole that no one outside sees. A chasm so huge it pulls us to our knees.
Written with love and the fondest of memories. The world lost our Dad on October fifth 2014.
Don’t be sad for we had him, be sad for those who never knew him and were missing his fun.
Is there a person who has gone but still brings a smile and a fond recall to your mind? Leave me a comment and I will answer soonest 👋👋👋😘💕