A Guest Post by Mind Over Meta
December 9, 2017
I remember the morning when mum came into my room to tell me you’d passed away; I could hear my younger brother crying in his room. Nan and granddad came round, having lost their only child, and I remember the dimly lit rooms and deafening silences. I remember your funeral, I remember your friends all dressed in black. I remember time standing still and yet life carrying on.
You were just forty-six years old when you died. I was just thirteen.
Now at the age of thirty-seven I think of all the things you’ve missed; all the life events and milestones. I feel compelled to say ‘I’m sorry.’ Not because I think anything was my fault, but because I’m sorry for the things we never got to share.
To know you
I’m sorry that I never got to know you as a person. I’m sure you were complex and contradicted, just like the rest of us. Due to my youth I was too young to understand your inner workings, and I regret not having the chance to know more about you. If only we’d been able to grow older together.
If music be the food of love
I’m sorry that we never got to play those duets you spoke of when I started playing the piano at twelve years old. You’d self-taught yourself the flute and showed me some sheet music for piano and flute. You said that one day, when I got better, we could play them together. I’m sorry I didn’t get better sooner.
I’m sorry for the music you’ve missed out on over the years. You had an eclectic taste so I’m sure there would’ve been lots of bands you’d have liked. You also had a penchant for listening to music at a loud volume, so I imagine we would’ve enjoyed going to gigs together!
I’m sorry that you weren’t around for my graduation. I didn’t go to university at the age my friends did; I went later when I was twenty-eight. You’d have been proud of me, and to have you there as my cheerleader and be with mum and I in the photographs would have been really special.
I am due to graduate with my doctorate next year. It’s been tough going, but I know you’ve been there helping me to push through. I’m just sorry you can’t be there to share the happiness and the relief.
Love and marriage
I’m sorry that you were unable to give me away when I got married the first time. I lit a candle in the morning to honour you and to say I wished you were there. I’d love to have had a father-daughter dance, but not to something too soppy. I remember being in the back of your car when I was about four years old, while you drove us to a hardware store. You had Dire Straits playing in the cassette player and I kept asking you to rewind the song “Sultans of Swing,” much to your amusement. I think that would’ve been a cool track to boogie to with you!
By the way, the second time I got married I went to Vegas and was given away by Elvis! Don’t be mad!
Life behind the lens
I’m sorry that there aren’t more pictures of me and you together. You were the family photographer and were usually found behind the lens more than in front of it. This picture is one I cherish:
The golden years
I’m sorry that I didn’t have the privilege of seeing you grow older and of looking after you in your later years. It would have been an honour to repay you for all the kindness and support you’d have no doubt shown me. I wonder what you would have done with your time during retirement?
I’m sorry that I can’t remember your voice. I can remember your laughter though, which was loud and hearty. I remember that I liked hearing you laugh; it made me feel happy inside.
I remember your nickname for me; Sissy. It was never said in a derogatory way, but I never got to find out where it came from.
I remember you liked to rub your unshaven chin against mine, knowing that I didn’t like it which seemed to make you laugh even more!
I remember sitting outside in the garden with you on one cold morning watching a lunar eclipse; I’d set my alarm especially to share the moment with you.
I remember you regularly helping me with my maths homework; numbers still confuse and frighten me.
I’m sorry for a lot of things, Dad, but I’m not sorry for the things I remember. These memories are precious stones which I’ll carry with me until it’s my time to leave this world you once inhabited. I have a feeling we’ll meet again, and when we do we can play those duets and we can have that special dance.
All my love
Your turn: What have you wished you could have said to someone who you no longer have in your life?
Mind Over Meta is a blogger from the UK, writing about the idiosyncrasies of the human experience and subjects like mental health, spirituality and the power of the human connection. Check out her blog, or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
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