My Father

It’s Father’s Day in North America … like anyone could have missed that, with all the commercials ads about what things we should buy?!

I’m not a huge fan of Fathers/Mothers Day … it’s a personal thing, but if all the businesses can make a buck, I guess that’s alright too. It’s always about money anyway. Those days stir up all kinds of memories, emotions, feelings of guilt in peoples lives — do we really need that?! Can’t we remember and pay tribute to our parents in other ways?!

When I was a kid in school, we all had to make cards for Father’s Day. The thing was, my Father was no longer around … he died when I was two. This was a small school in a rural area, I was the only kid who didn’t have both parents. Those were the days…  the pitiful smiles and the teacher saying «surely you can make a card for your uncle or something?!»

Nevertheless, I’m blogging about my Father today because it’s his birthday. He would have turned 104, had he not died on that fateful September day in 1957. Like I said … I was only two, but I’ve missed him all my life. It’s like I know him without really remembering him.

This pencil drawing, that he made of himself, is one of the two images I have of him. I look at it and I see my own eyes.


22 thoughts on “My Father”

  1. Actually I agree with you about Mother’s Day/Father’s Day both.
    People have many complex feelings about their parents.
    The official, “mandatory” celebration to me seems utterly commercial, and in that sense —
    considering the complexity and delicacy of the real thing — also seems cynical and exploitative.

    1. Judith,
      Well said, I know of several cases personally, where contacts between mother/daughter have been completely cut off.
      It is what it is and it’s not going away any time soon.

    1. Yes, Linda … that’s so true. I’m very happy to have that drawing in my possession. He’d used a mirror, Mum told me … and wrote ‘Who’s Who’ underneath it..

  2. Lovely post Rebekah.
    My Dad died when I was 18 months old so I very much understand the feelings you had around the card making ritual…as well as the sense of knowing without remembering.

    1. Hudson 🙂
      Yes, that’s almost the same age. In my teenage years, I often believed that he would have ‘understood me’ … when nobody else did..

  3. I agree that there shouldn’t be just one day to celebrate our parents – but as a mom – gee whiz, I’ll take that special day when I know I’ll get a phone call or card from my sons. And my birthday too. I have to milk it until the next holiday! Ha Ha!

    I’m loving the Eric Clapton music as I write this!

    1. Marge,
      Ha ha! Yeah, I can appreciate that … I don’t have any kids, but still…

      Eric Clapton wrote that song to the father he didn’t know anything about. He has since found his father …

  4. Hi,
    I agree, everything is commercialized these days, but still I think Dad enjoys his Fathers Day, it’s his day, and we usually go somewhere with other friends and their Dads for a barbeque somewhere nice, and we all have a great day out. (Fathers day in OZ is the first Sunday in September, this is in our Spring)

    The sketch is fantastic, he certainly was a very talented artist.

    1. Mags,
      That all very nice! I’m not fanatically against this tradition or anything … I just wish we cold pay more attention to our loved ones all year ’round… In Sweden, Father’s Day is in November..

      I love the drawing. He never did much with his talent … he worked at sea as an engineer..

  5. That would be so hard on a child what you went through. And probably difficult for the teachers not sure what to do. I cannot even imagine. My father’s father I never met or knew and there are so photos of him. Just recently I got 2 photos of him as a young man. How precious those photos are to me. That is as close as I can come to your experience,.

    I do not like how everything is so commercialised. Christmas sales start in july. Thanksgiving gets ignored. And you are right, everything is about money.

    1. Julie-Ann,
      For sure, the teachers must have felt very uncertain about all this too … especially back then, when it was very unusual! Nowadays single mothers aren’t that uncommon. My father was fifty when he died. When I was little, I thought that was really OLD! 🙂

  6. How lovely to be able to see your eyes in the picture drawn by your dear Dad. You have a permanent link. Thanks for sharing. Times have certainly changed over the last several years, We must be a very similar age.

  7. We were born the same year and have very similar feelings about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. My Father died when I was 12 and I never knew him. Neither he nor his family believed I belonged to him so there was no contact. I grew up in a single parent home back when that was hardly heard of. There were 1500 students in my high school and only one other person who wasn’t in a two parent family. Her father had committed suicide and my mother was divorced. Both considered to be equally shameful things back then.
    Strange times we grew up in, eh?

    1. Quite a few similarities, Joss. There might be more that we don’t know of … yet 🙂 In grade 7, I moved to the big school, with I don’t know how many students, and when I try and think of it now, I can’t remember anyone where the parents were divorced! We did hear rumours of one girl being adopted, but never got that confirmed, I don’t think the girl herself knew about it even!

      My best friend lost her daddy in an accident, ten years after mine, almost to the day, and same place (!). We became best friends for life. We even had the same family name…

      1. A best friend is one of the greatest gifts of life. I don’t know where I would be without my Christine!
        walk in beauty.

  8. I’ve just enjoyed the Eric Clapton vid. Curiously I’ve been thinking about posting a Clapton vid in a post myself, different post content though.

    I’m sorry you lost your father when you were so young, I can imagine hanging on to just a couple of pictures and all the wishing that must’ve been there in your mind seeing and holding them. I feel that way about my family photos, though I knew both my parents and in fact was there with him when my father died, which was precious to me as I’d not been there when my mum passed.

    Both my parents regarded mothers and fathers days as superfluous, but it didn’t stop my sister and I making the most of them to send cards, and I know both of them appreciated them. But I do agree with you – why have two days when really there is the whole of the rest of the year to care about people and make a fuss of them?

    1. Thank you, Val … That song hit home with me the first time I heard it … Clapton was looking for his father for a long time.

      My mum was very particular about Mother’s Day, so woe was me if I’d forgotten THAT. I was almost there when she died … I’d left the room a few minutes before.

  9. What I like about father’s day and mother’s day is the things kids in kindergarten make for their parents…, a drawing, a clay ashtray or whatever. To see the radiant expectant smile in their faces when they hand over their self made gift. This is what makes this day priceless. But beyond that, indeed just a commercial happening and a feeling of obligation to go home…
    Your father must’ve been a creative man, being able to make such a sketch. Do you know if he was acting out his creativity one way or another? I guess your ‘photo-eye’ has something to do with the genes he passed on to you. As with the things you make in these photo editing softwares.

    1. Gerda, Yes, that must be so nice to see… It’s just that I had my own personal experiences of this … hearing the other kids whispering behind my back wonder who SHE’LL make the card for??? bleh!

      I don’t know, but I was never told the he did anything art-related … but there’s so much I’ll never know..

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