Meeting My Father – Part 2

Before I go any further, I need to mention my Mum’s parents who raised me after Mum died. Once I was in their care, I could not have had a better upbringing. Nan has gone now too and my father figure growing up was my Granddad. A finer gentleman does not exist. My father in law is also a welcome and very strong influence in my life. I am very lucky. This business of meeting my father was just something I needed to do and I waited until I was 33 to do it. In a strange twist of fate, I lost my mother when she was 33 and I was 10.

Since my last post, everywhere I go I’m being asked. “How did it go? What was it like? Did you get on?” And the answers are, “Good, good and yes.” I’m trying to come up with better descriptions but right now I just can’t. I’m reminded of being in 5th form at school and playing hockey. I was really looking forward to the final. The anticipation was immense, I played really well and we won, but when I got home I just quietly smiled and said, yeah it was good. It’s kind of like that.

The flight was uneventful as they all tend to be, and after clearing customs, I was about to walk out the gate and I knew that he would be waiting there. I stopped to gather my thoughts, which was a mistake. Apparently stopping and looking nervous in customs is a bad thing in their books so a hasty explanation was called for. Explanation accepted, I stepped out into the terminal.

I was early. Typical.

I waited round for a while scanning the crowd with his picture firmly planted in my mind and eventually saw him hurrying over. We shook hands, looked each other up and down (although not too much, we are men after all) and set about spending a few hours together.

We walked, talked, drank lots of coffee, saw his boat, visited his home, his work and generally just hung out and caught up on his life and mine. We learnt, we laughed, we pondered. Interestingly, there was no pretence at all. We’re both long enough in the tooth to be able to say, “take me as I am” and that was perhaps the best bit. It was an honest meeting. Warts and all.

There are aspects of his personality that I wish I had. He has a million projects on the go at once and seems to be able to build anything, yet I’m not very handy at all. He’s very musical, but the nearest I get to that is playing songs on the radio. He’s done many different jobs and had many different experiences, yet I’ve played safe and been in the same company for 15 years. I wish that I could have learnt some of those things from him.

We have made a connection and it’s a good one. We are very obviously father and son, no mistake and I really look forward to the next time we can be in each other’s company. Right now though, he’s in Australia, I’m in Wellington and my own kids are beginning to wake from their daytime naps. I have to tidy, change nappies, and get everything in order before my wife comes home from work.

This meeting has been a success. Both of us are richer for it, yet not too much has changed. I aim to be a good father, the difference is that I am now also someone’s son. So tonight, I might do something that I’ve never been able to do before. I might give my Dad a ring and say g’day.

Also published on DIY Father.com

4 comments:

  1. This is a really inspiring post. Good on ya Dave, pleased it went so well.

    Jason

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  2. wow, great story to read, I need to do the same. I have to say well done, something you have to be very brave to do!

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  3. Awesome Smarty, very proud of you xxx

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  4. Great story Dave, sounds like life is going well for you x

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