Scary stories from a lovely place
Oops. I totally forgot Father’s Day. In my defence – I’m in Ireland and it’s not Father’s Day here. But my father, and the father of my children are both in Australia where Father’s Day is now over. Sorry Stephen. And Dad.
I don’t deserve a good dad. But I do have one. I’m a bit of a secret people pleaser and of everyone I want to please, dad is at the top of the list. I value his opinion highly and I want to listen to all of his advice, even when I have to pry it out of him. Dad encouraged me to love other people and to love South Africa. And then when he discovered the delights of Johannesburg, rather than merely Cape Town, he introduced me to that wonderful place.
And of course it was in Jozi that I met Stephen, my son’s wonderful dad. Stephen goes to work all day, comes home and plays with his kids, puts Silas to bed, washes the dishes, serves me the ice-cream, prays for us when we go to sleep and gets up during the night with the kids. And he only complains a little when he’s really, really tired.
I’ve been fortunate that this is my experience. But Father’s Day isn’t full of good memories for everyone. For some the memories are bad – of hurtful relationships or lost children. For others it is the absence of memories that locates the pain – for those with no father, or no children. These people deserve to be remembered and respected on Father’s Day too.
This will be the first Father’s Day for my dad, since the death of his father. My Grandfather died in June, just a few weeks after his wife. My dad was fortunate enough to have his dad around for sixty years and to enjoy a good relationship for that whole time. At the funeral dad shared that Grandfather prayed for his children and grandchildren everyday. My Grandfather was a gentle, humble man, and so dad’s words were full of truth and not laced at all with exaggeration.
Silas and Oisín (whose middle name, Harold, is in honour of my maternal grandfather) have been born into a family full of love and girded by prayer, in both Australia and Ireland. I hope I can care for them in the same way that my Grandfather cared for his son.