Across the Universe

every girl needs flowers on a fridaywordsarespillingout
Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world
Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna change my world

Do you know what today is? It's the day my dad was born. Or at least, it's the day I believe my dad was born - I could be wrong and if You know different, I'd appreciate the details, and, any other errors I'm about to make in the next few lines. It's just, I remember in my Beatrix Potter Birthday Book Aunty Pat wrote "your darling daddy" and I am pretty sure it was November 22 but I could be wrong. *furrowed brow thinking* see now I think about it I could be so wrong. The dates are muddled in my head. Okay, lets continue to believe it's today until we know different, okay? i mean, twentyseven some years, another few moments with wonky information of this low security grade shouldn't hurt anyone. [famous last words]

This is faulty too, but I think, he would have been 63 this birthday. Which, is interesting as I was born 1963 *hmm*. I remember few things about my father but I do remember his skin, and his smile, and the way his eyes crinkled and twinkled when he did. I remember being in pyjamas sitting on his knee and comparing the size of my hand to his. My whole hand, fingers spread, sat easily across his palm. He didn't have particularly big hands, mine were just so young. Sometimes, he would sit on my bed in the dark and sing me to sleep. Slow 50s and 60s ballads. I remember his smell - he smelled like work. He smelled like welding, and the sand they used for sandblasting. He smelled of swarfega and he smelled of soap. His hair was dark and curly and always short.

Once, when he came home from fishing, the net spilled all the fish over the lawn. A sea of silver fish on the green grass of the grass out the back of the carport. There was a small hammer head shark there too. sometimes, when he caught crayfish, he'd put them in the laundry tub. I could hear them flapping against the stainless sides and the water until they were ready to be dinner. Mum would hate to do it I think - you dropped the cray into boiling water, they died instantly I guess, and turned bright red from the deep burgandy they were.

I remember lying on my stomach on the floor of the lounge, my dad lying next to me, colouring in. He was really good at it, never went over the lines. He showed me how to draw a dark line around the edge, and then carefully colour in the middle. He also showed me how using just one colour was really effective. He showed me too, that you could do your own drawings, filling pages with patterns and shades. He would make plastercine animals too - perfect tigers and horses and cats and dogs. The warmth of his hands softening the plastercine, the cool night hardening them on the mantle.

I don't remember a lot from when he was sick. I tried to kiss him goodbye every morning before going to school. I'd take my budgie into him so he could watch the bird's antics. Dad was in bed most mornings when I left, but often up when I got home. It was nice, for a while, him being home when I got home. Then, after a while, he was in bed all the time. And I sort of stopped going in to kiss him goodbye in the mornings. I don't remember why, but I am guesssing with what I know now, he was too sick or had changed in appearance enough that this 12 year old couldn't cope.

One thing I absolutely *hated* was when the priest'd come over and we'd have to say prayers in the bedroom with Dad in the bed. I think my anger for religion and my hatred of the Catholic hypocracy formulated into a jaw clenching determination on my knees in that bedroom. I don't know if dad *found* religion before he died, I know a lot of people find comfort in it at times like that. But Dad never went to church with us so maybe, he needed it in those last days.

The night he died, I seem to remember we had lots of people around. I had this urgency to not be there. I pestered pestered until someone agreed to take me away. Aunty Maree and her then boyfriend drove me and Joanne to Grandad's house. I knew, maybe everyone else knew too, it was close. They phoned not long after we'd arrived at Grandad's and Maree told us Dad had died. Joanne looked to me, as she always did through all of this, for a direction to react I guess. Poor kid, she got stuck with an older sister who bottled everything up. We sat there quietly for a little while. Then continued reading the Beatrix Potter book we had been reading when the telephone had rung.

After the church service for his funeral, we went to the cemetary and lowered his casket into the ground. I was standing in front of Aunty Pat and I felt her press me to move forward to throw dirt on the casket. Nothing and no one was moving me from where I was standing. She didn't press anymore, and everyone else went up and did what you do at the side of a grave. So many people I know must have been there but all I remember is the grass, the hole in the ground, knowing Pat was behind me and the way my legs refused to work.

It took me until I was 15 before I could actually cry properly. Scared the daylights out of a lot of my friends when the floodgates finally opened when I was at Boarding School. Over the years, I missed him, as I still do. Mostly I miss him fondly and hardly cry anymore. Alan's [my brother in law] dying a few years ago sort of closed the circle.

This isn't sposed to be sad [your eyebrows better be in a happy place, Rosie] they're just memories, my precious few.