It’s Fathers Day in Australia, the sixth one where I have been deprived from hearing my dad’s voice saying “what, no new car again this year”.
I miss him but I know he is watching over me as I woke up this morning and it was raining.
He would have been thrilled to see it as before he left us, he was convinced it had forgotten how to do it.
It rained a couple of hours before his body finally overruled his determined mind and although his eyes were closed, I know he heard it drumming on the window of his palliative care hospital room and it made him content in his final hours.
The drought has broken now and it’s raining on Father’s Day. I feel content with that.
A friend posted a meme on social media this morning that read ‘my father gave me the greatest gift. He believed in me’ and this made moisture fall from my eyes.
Yes, my dad was my greatest supporter and he believed in me. I have stumbled without this support for nearly seven years now but on rainy days or when I watch the power and beauty of electrical storms, I feel his presence, shed a tear and use him as my inspiration to continue to do the hard things that have to be done.
He had a story which involved this house, his early childhood home, which summarizes the man he was.
At the age of five or six he and his younger sister were getting under his parent’s feet and his father told them to go outside and do something useful.
He said they played for a while in the front yard just near the dirt road that connected the small village with town and the copper mines, farms and hills beyond it. But he didn’t see playing as useful so he decided to cut some fire wood with his small tomahawk axe. This was the early 1920’s and small children playing with such things was not judged as harshly as today. My dad grew up in the era of if you hurt yourself doing something you would know not to do it again.
Rather than cut up useless little pieces of wood lying on the ground he decided the tree beside the road had to go so the home cooking fire can keep burning. That was a useful task.
Several hours later his father came out to see what the noise was and was horrified to see the tree was about to fall across the road.
Apparently, he found himself in more trouble as a result and in charge of lugging branches off the road as his dad completed the job he started but they had fire wood.
He might be in trouble but the family benefited from it in the long run.
The day he left us I had Bette Midler and Randy Newman’s lyrics echoing in my head.
Broken windows and empty hallways, A pale dead moon in a sky streaked with grey. Human kindness is overflowing, And I think it's gonna rain today.
It did indeed rain and the kindness of the hospital staff who had got to know him during his long battle comforted us.
I hear the words of “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” in my head again on this rainy Father’s Day morning.
I miss your voice, our adventures, your humour and your support but I know you are watching over me always. I miss you dad.
Happy heavenly Father’s Day.