Ten minutes til I go and catch my Ferry. Today has been muggy and I wore the wrong clothes, which didn't help - angora and lambswool sweater wasn't a good choice - I chastised Kiki for letting me out of the house like that. The air conditioning seems to be odd today too so it's super stuffy in the office. I opened the windows for a while but it gets so noisey.
Making buttons for James' project while he stood over me chanting "where're my buttons where're my buttons" all day in between whinging in the corner lamenting the amount of time he has to wait for his buttons. He has his buttons now, and I have photographs of him so we'll see what happens next.
My mouth is watering at the thought of those delicious grey on grey glass buttons.
sorry, where was I.. oh.. five minutes til i leave for the ferry. and I have nothing to say. *goes home*
I used to sit on my father's lap. Dry and warm in fluffy pyjamas, clean from my bath and feet dotted with white talc. He used to smell of work and soap - in a really good way. I remember in front of the fire best. Remember resting the palm of my hand on his, seeing how much I had to grow to grow up. My fingers barely reached across his palm. He'd colour-in with me sometimes, lying on the floor with my books and colours.. showing me how you could make a really nice drawing with only one colour - teaching me about tone and texture. Once I remember he made plastercine animals that I kept for the longest time until I accidently stood on a couple and ruined them. He was so good at drawing and making things. When I was very little I have memories of him snogging my mother on the couch. He had the biggest smile, reached all the way to his eyes. But best and most of all, I remember him in the dark, sitting on my bed, singing me to sleep.
The night he died I knew something was wrong. It was early evening and we had a lot of relations at the house - my grandparents, his sister and her husband and others. I guess they all knew it was near. I was too young to know that in my mind, but my intuition knew and I had primal flight reacting in every cell of my body. I could not get out of that house fast enough. I asked and begged for anyone, anyone to take me somewhere, and in the end my aunt and her [then] boyfriend took me and my sister home to her place. I remember sitting on the sofa, my aunt reading us Beatrix Potter, my sister listening while I was waiting. I don't even know what I was waiting for until the telephone rang.
When I think back I wonder if he was dying when I left. I'm glad I wasn't there, some people didn't let him go as softly as he could have.
And then when Alan died.. I was out in the street outside his house in the dark of the evening. It was dark and I was putting the children into the car because so many people thought it wasn't appropriate that they be with their uncle when he died. And I felt something and looked up, into the sky. Dark and clear and speckled lightly with stars. I felt calm and I smiled and seemed to be caught in a moment of peace suddenly after so many months without any. I was snapped out of my trancelike gazing by a friend of the family coming down the driveway saying I needed to go back into the house now - something was happening - but I already knew: Alan had died.
I've lost enough Alans now. I had a lot of hurt and mystery and grudges and regret surrounding my father's death. Alan dying so many years later with the same name and at the same age my father was when he died, helped me resolve so much of that. I came full circle and learned so much. I still keep going around in circles, but then I think that's what I'm supposed to be doing.
Life is a funny old thing. There is a lot to be learned from not running away from all the really hard things. Life'll keep throwing the hard stuff at you until you deal with it - until you at least take some steps to figuring out what is important - until you finally stop sweating the small things and inhale and hold your breath and get it.