Today, December 16th, was a tough day. Twenty years ago my Dad passed away from cancer. Twenty years!!
The anniversary always touches my heart, and today it was the number twenty that seemed to hold me in a muddied and gritty blur.
So much has happened and yet so very little. Tremendous changes and yet nothing.
It is incredibly selfish/boring/pointless/self indulgent of me to say how much I looked at my life today and noticed how many things I have left behind and some of which I miss. How I now compare my own widowhood to my Mums. How much I feel I have let my family down, when I think of all the things I wanted to give to them. The ache of his loss hit hard today.
Then tonight I realized the two things that still remain that my Dad gave to me - The Theater and Toast.
My brother and I grew up going to the theater with Mum and Dad. They were called shows then, just the same as dinner happened at lunchtime and policemen were really older. I would give anything to have those trips back when we all dressed beautifully, drove into London in that white Mercedes and saw everything from slamming doors, kissing lovers, comedic neighbors, aching hearts and tapping shoes. Elaborate sets, large orchestras, red velvet curtains or simple wide open spaces - oh it was all wonderful, even if we didn't understand it. Even if on the odd occasion we would leave during the interval - that meant really bad language and someone being naked!
Then we would get home, and no matter the time or mood, the kettle would be switched on and bread placed into the toaster. The make believe world melting with the butter.
So tonight I came home from my playwriting class and I remembered all of this while waiting for the kettle to boil and the bread to pop up warm and ready. And there was Dad saying do that Jayne. Stay with the the theater and eating the toast! Just do it.
Thank you Dad. I miss you.