I’ve been reflecting on my dad this last week or so .. I don’t know why, it seem to come all of a sudden with the odd fleeting thought and passing memory building to a crescendo of me staying up into the early hours of Saturday listening to the album War of the Worlds, the sounds of which I remember my dad filling our home with as I was coming into my teenage years ..
My dad was in the army when I was born, my first childhood years from what I can remember were spent living in an army house in Tidworth .. at some points I stayed with my nan’s, my mum’s mum lived in Plymouth and my dad’s in Kent, I went to school in both of these places so I guess I moved around a fair bit .. When I was seven my mum died, my dad remarried, I lived with a new nan in Morpeth and went to another different school..
By the age of ten we had moved to London, my dad had left the army and joined the police and I started my final year of primary age at a school in Highgate before going to Secondary School in Muswell Hill famous for the musicians who had gone there before me .. the teenage years were mixed, I guess that is normal, I’m sure my dad loved me but I never really felt it, I remember being fearful when I’d done something wrong, uncomfortable when he was around, I would shut myself away in my bedroom and ran away from home twice .. I know he tried to be a good parent, a responsible one at least but a week after my eighteenth birthday without saying a word or leaving any note I packed up my stuff, made the cab driver carry my big stereo unit down the stairs and moved in with a friend and her family.
When I fell pregnant with my first child at the age of nineteen, his father to my horror visited my dad to tell him the news .. when my son was born we were back in touch, he seemed to enjoy being a grandfather and we visited each other from time to time .. I was pregnant with my second child when I got married, my dad didn’t attend, he was in a rehabilitation centre following a nervous breakdown from the stress of his job I believe .. my second child was born, a second son Lewis who died eleven weeks later, my dad was there by my side as we had him blessed, during the funeral service and after, practically, he offered to take Lewis’s stuff and store them away.
It was over a couple of years later when he phoned me up to tell me they were moving again, he brought Lewis’s stuff over, it felt awkward and made me nervous.
I didn’t know that that would be the last time I saw him or had any contact with him.
Not long after that, he moved again with my step mum, only he didn’t tell me, I found out from another family member they had moved to another country and there was no forwarding address.
It took a long time for me to come to terms with my dad’s sudden abandonment of me .. I was a parent myself and couldn’t understand how he could do that, I hated him for it, I wouldn’t be able to talk about him without crying, I felt rejected and didn’t know why. About five years after, I asked his mum, my nan, if she had heard from him, she replied ‘hes not talking to us, because we are talking to you’ .. what was I suppose to say to that, I thought he must have hated me to disown his own parents and I still didn’t know why.
Twenty five year later, at the end of November 2018 I received news from his brother, my dad had passed away a week earlier, my questions will remain unanswered except for one, I know for sure I will never see my dad again.