I don’t talk about my dad a great deal. This is for many reasons. The primary one used to be because I held a lot of unresolved resentment towards him, but that has passed now.
It is strange because I have spent many years thinking about family and family histories and this has meant that I found out more about my father. And it meant I remembered more things as well, the further I went back the more I saw him in a different light.
Sometimes a single event can cloud our perception and memory of everything that has passed. It was this way with me for far too long.
There were times when my younger sister and I would check the clock and know that Daddy was coming home. Then we would rush to the bottom of the road and meet him as he got off the works bus. As we danced around him he would pull out a treat for us from his duffle bag. That was when I first loved Wagon Wheels. If there was just one then we’d wait until we got home to divide it up equally between whoever was there, but if there was a whole pack (or two) we would eagerly take small bites as we walked back up the road hanging on to his arms.
The sound of the Blakey's on his heels gave a steady comforting ring on the pavements as we reached our gate and went inside. There we would search his bag for anything else that he had brought home for us. We even savoured the crunchy peanut butter sandwich he saved for us – everything tasted good from him.
Many years later, when he retired and lived alone, he used to bake some strange concoctions that made me nervous when I saw what he had used. But they always tasted fantastic and I’d go back for more.
He was an amazing man who did his best. Some things I never understood – and still don’t – but I do know that I’ve started to miss him more and more.
Just the other day I was sat thinking about him and it passed through my mind that I used to get so many calls from him; we used to speak a lot on the phone. I imagined that he could just give me a call so that I’d hear his voice again. This is particularly strange for me as I used to get a bit tetchy when he did call me - and he always did because I would always go and see him when he called. The ring of the phone that signalled annoyance at one time is now empty but I would welcome that ring, ring tone from him right now.
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