I took a class on Zoom on December 30 and the goal was to write a one-page memoir or dedication to someone we lost. Our guide was Barbara Field, a writer and coach for people who want to tell their stories, just like me. It was a quick class, only 2 hours long. She gave us exercises to think about and at the end of the class, this is what I came up with. I wanted to share it here, in its mostly raw state, because it will remind me of what I remember of my father, 3 years later and also to keep writing my story even if I am the only witness to it. Writing is my joy and passion and I feel closest to myself when I am connected to a page, with or without a pen.
Happy New Year. I only wish people this today so consider my work done. Please click to read more!
Eustace was a hardworking, generous and funny father. He loved making up silly songs to tease my mother with and waking up early so he could go out and beat his much younger friends at badminton. After his game and in a sweaty mess, he would get my sisters’ and my school snack ready for the day. He would cut the edges of the bread (the crust) and put the perfect amount of butter and cheese, snuggled up tight in plastic wrap.
He had a dirty sense of humour and his greatest skill was swearing in three different languages over the phone. If he liked you, he would make up a very unacceptable nickname for you and yell it as he passed you by on the road.
One of my father’s greatest gifts was his ability to listen. If I was to even mention that I felt like eating watermelon, one would find its way into the passenger seat of his car or floorboard of his scooter, cut-up and salted – because obviously that’s the only way to eat a watermelon.
My father was a very anxious man and would lose his cool with us very easily if we came in the way of him trying to please everyone on his plate. As a child, I felt stressed and rushed. As an adult, I still carry some of these wounds on me but with the clarity of a growing life’s experience.
I will always think of my father when I am leaving for the airport because there is nobody to rush me out the door and tell me I’ll be late, that a year flies by so fast and that we will see each other again. Of course, I won’t see him again which is why I am always down to the last second as I pack my bags, listening closely for that familiar voice.