Friday, September 01, 2006

I should have known

It’s never very clever to say things are going well (as I did in yesterday’s post), because as soon as you do, something goes wrong.

My dad got taken to hospital yesterday after having a dizzy spell we now know was due to low blood pressure, which is kind of ironic as he’s spent half his life on pills for high blood pressure. Luckily when it happened, he was lunching with a friend who happens to be a surgeon, and the doctor insisted upon calling an ambulance (I seriously doubt my father would have done). Anyway twenty four hours later they still won’t allow him home as they haven’t got a clue what’s going on with his body (though he’s told me they’re mightly impressed with how fit he is!)

My father’s 73. It’s not that old really, is it? I certainly can’t believe this is too serious. I just can’t, because he’s my dad and strong as an ox.

And I don’t think my mom and dad are too worried. At least I think not. Though I do have a slight doubt they’d tell me if they were. You see I heard a message on their answer-phone one day that leads me to wonder if they’d choose to tell me if it was otherwise. And I’d never ask, as I figure people tell you things as and when they choose to, and it’s none of my damn business until then. And even then, it’s only my business if they want it to be.

I think my family’s like that, we keep things from each other, and only speak our mind if asked. Can’t complain about it, as I’m just as guilty at what I’ve chosen not to tell them over the years.

But occasionally I worry about the things that may never get said. Honesties and secrets that will only come out when the present is long gone.

Last night as I was walking through the hall, there was a letter on the floor. I picked it up and was surprised to discover it was a letter my father had written to me twenty-five years ago. It kind of freaked me a bit that this thing happened to be lying on the floor on the very day he’s rushed into hospital, and so I hurried through the house demanding to know who had left it there, and where it had come from.

The girls had found it when rearranging the bookcase, tucked into my old hymn book.

I used to carry it everywhere. It being the only letter my father sent me whilst I was away at boarding school. Didn’t say much really, but it was gentle and full of love.

But it did strike me that although I could remember that love, it’s been a long time since I’ve thought about it. Or really felt it. Thoughout my teenage years my father and I spent quite a lot of time together, as he would visit me whilst he was on business trips and I was at school or living in London. I think I’d forgotten about those times. I think I’ve forgotten a lot of things.

To this day, he’s always there if I want or need anything. But I’m female and therefore not worthy of any great admiration. Or maybe I’m wrong about it being because I’m a girl, and maybe it’s just because I’m not like him, driven or a risk taker.

I remember him saying that. We were in Sloan Square going to get a coffee, when he commented that I’d never be rich because I didn’t have the balls to take risks.

I didn’t argue or defend myself, though I could have pointed out that maybe it’s because I’ve seen what happens when the risk goes against you and you lose everything.

But I have since told him I believe it was my fault he lost everything. Not that I did anything, I was only twelve after all! But I’ve always had this thought that I’m not meant to have money. I don’t mean in the sense of not being able to feed your family, we’ve always managed that (thank heavens) but I don’t think I’m supposed to have it easy. I wasn’t born to it and I don’t think fate wants me to have it.

My father laughed. Told me it was a ridiculous notion. But then, a lot of my thoughts and opinions are ridiculous to my father.

How come relationships get so confusing? How can they feel difficult when it’s with people we love? And when did they become like this?

I’ve just snorted to myself, because I can remember when mine and my father’s relationship took this road. When he lost all his money. Until then I was his princess. He continued to say so long after, but by then, they only felt like words. I think I disappointed him repeatedly, and it began right after with me adoring the little house we moved in to. I rather liked being brought home from boarding school too.

There are also things I’m miffed about. Why the hell is everything my brother does so bloody brilliant? Why is their relationship the exact opposite of mine and my dad’s with my dad seeking my brother’s approval? My brother’s never done much with his life. And it’s not like he makes any effort with my parents either. Not that I begrudge their relationship, though there's an irony with my brother swearing I’m always favoured over him.

That’s bloody rubbish by the way. Just ask the BH, as he’s always left scratching his head in wonderment at my father’s complete adoration of every minor thing my brother does and says too, or my mother, who also adores my brother, but raises an eyebrow at some of his antics.

But for all these words it’s not like I think he doesn’t love me, I know he does. And I think he knows how much I love him too. It’s just, I guess yesterday shook me a bit, and I’ve been filled with memories. And the trouble is, they are memories.

By the time I was pregnant with R, I remember asking my parents to come around so we could break our big news to them. Their first grandchild. But my dad wasn’t paying attention and after I finished telling them and my mom started with her congratulations, my dad asked what the fuss was about – we were only getting a puppy after all, which incidentally he didn’t really think was a great idea with our both working full time.

A part of me laughs at the memory. Another part of me feels hollow.

Yet again, I’ve written without direction. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Nowhere I guess. It’s just I love my dad, and I refuse to believe anything bad can happen to him. Yet. I am realising time’s moving on.

He’s always been this huge giant standing over me. Sometimes that feels like a wonderful protection, other times the shadow is so cold and dark I tremble.

He’s going to be fine. He has to be.


Blogger rdl said...

{{{Jona}}} I'm sure he'll be ok if he's in such good shape, they'll probably just adjust his medications. As for the memories, I really don't know what to say. Family ties sure are not like what we saw on TV - well here- Leave it to Beaver and Father knows best; much more like the current day shows(Rosanne, Raymond, The Simpsons).

Friday, September 01, 2006 10:42:00 pm  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

'Kay, no excuses, you need to come around to my place and see how I've thanked my regular readers.

I think your dad will be fine. I'm having a hard time imagining any truly grim scenarios, and usually I'm awesome at pessimistic scenarios.



Saturday, September 02, 2006 12:17:00 am  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, September 04, 2006 1:06:00 pm  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

This post filled me with emotion.
I hope your Dad is OK

Monday, September 04, 2006 1:07:00 pm  

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