Ok, so in my blog entitled “Friday 18th February 2011” I said I was in a bit of a downer but couldn’t put my finger on why? Cat and I had a full scale blow-up this afternoon, mainly because I was being an arse. I’m not going to get into the details of it but the upshot of it was that I ended up in floods of tears for what I thought was no good reason.
As we were sitting in the living room in the aftermath of my explosion, Cat and I talked through the possibilities for why I was so pissed off. We ruled out the house, the cats and Cat herself, but then she put forward a suggestion. Was I missing dad? Did I want to be able to talk to him, and have him see our new flat and so forth? It might sound strange, given that this year marks the fifth anniversary of his death but she was so spot-on it hurts.
About 10 days ago I was going through an old expanding file that I had, and throwing out some of my really out-of-date paperwork. I’m a horrendous hoarder and there was stuff in there from at least 10 years ago, stuff that had no sentimental or other value so I was merrily binning it. Then I found two letters, both written to me by each of my parents.
This is a bit hard for me, so bear with it. I’m not sure if I’ve told this stuff before so if I have then please forgive me. When I was married, there was a lot of bad blood between my then-wife and my parents. Most of it was a clash of personalities but there were a lot of nasty things said on both sides. I was torn between retaining a healthy relationship with my parents, and defending my wife. I also tried my best to make sure that both of my parents saw my baby son, despite my wife’s efforts to make sure that didn’t happen. Long story short, I was spineless. I should have been a lot more forceful in defending the relationship that I had with my parents, and in making sure that they had as much access to my son (their first grandchild after all) as his other grandparents had. Anyway, I don’t remember the exact details that prompted my parents to write these letters (one from each of them incidentally) but as I read them the other day I wished, perhaps for the thousandth time, that I had some sort of time machine so that I could go back to when that stuff all started and either stop it from happening or at least be more of a man about the whole thing. As I read dad’s letter to me, I could hear his voice narrating it and I could picture him sitting in the dining room with his word processor as he typed it.
This afternoon, Cat suggested that I talk to dad. I think the suggestion from her was that I could do that out loud and probably fill in the blanks in the conversation. Probably good therapy, but the trouble is that I wouldn’t hear his voice. The only time I’ve heard his voice in my head was last week when I read back that letter. By rights, the letters should all be destroyed because they point to an episode in my life that I’m not in the slightest bit proud of. The thing is though, I’ll keep them so that I can hear dad’s voice.
In case you’re wondering, when my now ex-wife and I split up, I went back to my parents’ house with my tail between my legs and was welcomed with open arms. I was never judged or criticised, although there were times when dad and I would have heated discussions about what had happened. I said “sorry” on more than one occasion, but always wish I could do more to express my regrets.
I’m not really a religious person, but if there is some sort of afterlife to look forward to, I hope dad can see the life that I’ve made for myself with Cat, and the home that we’ve bought and be glad that I’ve finally got something right. If the afterlife involves reincarnation, perhaps this time he’ll have a better son.