Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day

A journalist, mourning the golden age of Fleet Street in The Spectator magazine recalled a 'twinkle-toed' colleague, who 'tap-danced on the office desk singing Powder Your Face With Sunshine.'

That colleague was my father.

I, remembering the golden-age of infancy, recall a long-skirted figure with a head piled with bananas, emulating Hollywood's Brazilian Bombshell, Carmen Miranda, during bathtime.

That figure was my father.

My father, in the 1970s, was a pioneer. While my mother went out to work he became a stay-at-home-dad. It was he who devised chase games to brighten the uphill walk home from school and who cooked us suppers of corned beef fritters and home-made chips. He was the only dad in the school who owned an evening gown worn to startle us with impromptu theatricals.

Tirelessly, the man who had interviewed the Beatles and travelled the world for a headline, read us Listen with Mother stories, played London Bridge is Falling Down on the bed and left grotesque faces on our drawing boards to thrill us when we woke.

I do not normally heed Father's Day. I suspect it's a festival dreamed up by big business to boost sales. But this morning I learned that both my father-in-law and my father are worryingly ill. The latter, yesterday, faced a devastating dilemma: whether to take a drug that would protect him against a potentially lethal blood clot, but that could also rob him of his remaining chink of eyesight.

He has chosen to preserve the eyesight. And so I am observing this Father's Day with intensity.

'Mummy gives us love,' a four-year old me once memorably declared, 'But Daddy gives us fun.'

I realise I was only half right. My father has always given us both in unstinting quantities and he and all committed fathers deserve 365 dedicated days a year in tribute.

21 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. Love to you, and my best wishes that all turns out well xxx

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    1. Thank you. It was reading your lovely tribute to your father that inspired me to write this...

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  2. Indeed a lovely post. Such a shame your father had to face that choice.

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  3. Beautiful post that has made me feel very emotional. Much love to you, your family and that wonderful father of yours. x

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  4. Wow. Not sure what to say to that but couldn't leave without commenting. He sounds like an amazing man - no wonder you turned out as you. x

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  5. Lovely rich post. All the best for you and your dad.

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  6. Lovely post, enjoyed by my husband too. A good dad is such a lovely thing to have. I have one too, and am so grateful for it.

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    1. I know. We're very blessed to have fine parents. The only downside is it the better they are, the harder to conceive of a world without them in it.

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  7. Lovely. So heart warmimg that you know now how much your dad is worth. He sounds a truly wonderful man. Alas I only realsied the value of my father after he had gone.

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    1. That's terribly sad - and pretty usual, I fear. So easy to take people for granted. I've been singularly lucky with both my parents but I'm not sure the full realisation of how splendid they've been will hit me until they're not around any more.

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  8. That was really lovely. Your dad sounds like he did a wonderful job when you were young. What a difficult decision he had to make. Fingers crossed. Great photo too!

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  9. Ps So your dad was a writter and journalist too ... lovely that you share the same vocation.

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    1. No coincidence. When you grow up with journalists it's infectious!

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  10. Oh my, beautiful words, I so hope it turns out best, Love to you and yours x

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    1. Thank you, my dear. He had good news after a scan today so all looks a little brighter.

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  11. Thank you for this post, and what a sweet photo. What a choice he faces.

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    1. Luckily it proved to be the right choice for, two days later, they found it was a cyst, not a clot, causing his swellings so he would have imperilled his eyesight in vain had he chosen to play safe and take the drug.

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