Saturday, June 18, 2011

Memoir - My Dad

My dad was a carpenter by trade, working for many years on the South African Railways which he joined on his return from the war (WWII).  Every day he would go to work with his "safari" suit (an outfit with a medium length tunic, shorts above the knees, and worn with long socks and lace up shoes).  He had a hilarious sense of humour, telling funny stories of his childhood around the dinner table.  He enjoyed reading, and was very creative.  I always felt he was a man denied his full potential in life.  He was very intelligent and taught us to respect all people, no matter their colour.  

I don't recall him being a 'huggy' dad, but he did talk to me a lot, perhaps because we had similar interests, such as reading.  I was always happy to make him some tea or coffee, just in case I got a little attention paid to me.  Out of all my siblings, I was the one most interested, I think (my sister always felt I was a 'suck-up').  According to my three elder siblings  (I am the second youngest), he was a tough dad when he was younger, but he was also hard on my younger brother.  I think this is so because I was the most scholarly, and didn't disappoint too much where school marks were concerned.

My dad passed away on September 28, 1973 in the small South African city of East London.  He was 49 years old.  I was 16, for three days. I felt as if my whole world had come to an end.  I wish my children had gotten to know him and my mom, and I had gotten to know them as an adult.

I don't know why, but I always carried one pair of my dad's 'safari' suit socks wherever I moves.  I used them when ice skating.  They were pretty new when he died, but now they are pretty worn.  I like to think that in some way, my dad and I walked/skated/ran/travelled/danced together in those socks. 

I love you, dad, wherever in the universe you may be.

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Yellow daisies

Yellow daisies
taken in Nanaimo

White daisies

White daisies
field of daisies taken in Nanaimo