Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 1

It slipped by again, as it does. It is not that I didn't think about him on Thursday. I did. I stood in front of his picture on my school desk, and thought lovingly about him. I didn't cry then. But, I am now.

I think, for me, September 1, is the most profound date in my calendar. I still remember my mom waking me up that morning, early, to tell me he had died. I remember lying in my bed thinking that all my prays had been of no use. I remember thinking as I lay crying that it just couldn't be.

I was seventeen, and I loved him so much. He was not the perfect father, but to me, he was the man who loved me fiercely, and in the two years he spent dying we became closer and closer.

He was the center of my Grade Twelve year. And although he wasn't able to come to my graduation, and I wasn't able to dance the father/daughter dance with him, he was there. He was always there. He is always there.

He was funny. He had a horrible temper. He was imposing. His hugs were huge. His presence comforting. His eyes were unlike anyone I have every seen. He was, quite simply, my Dad.

Often after school,in his last year, the two of us would sit in the living room, alone. I think my brother and mother were off to swim practice. I am not sure where my younger sister was - perhaps babysitting. But he and I were often alone. Sitting. Sipping sherry that came out of an oak keg - a keg I still have. Talking about life and love. He was there for my first broken heart. He was there when I was accepted into University. He was there when I got my first job. He was there.

I still have the last gifts he ever gave me. A Mickey Mouse watch for my 17th birthday. The Complete Works of William Blake for Christmas a few months later. He inscribed that book "Because it is Christmas, and because I love you. Dad"

My daughter was born on his birthday. He would have been his 65th birthday. That was a gift he gave me also.

So, September 1st has come and gone. The flowers have been sent to the church as they always are this time of year. He was a devote Anglican. I continue to honour that.

Thirty eight years have gone by, and yet it still seems like yesterday. I imagine that the next thirty eight will pass with me missing him just as much.

So, Dad, this one is for you. I will love you forever and always.

Your daughter,

Mary-Anne Burton Taylor

1 comment:

  1. I can feel the deep love you have for your father in your words. The great compassion you have for others was honed in those last months with him.


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