Although penning this piece from the bedroom of a Portuguese hotel, I am more than aware back in Blighty my fellow Brits are celebrating Father’s Day. One of the many reminders of the celebration coming in the shape of cards from my children, granddaughter and Zella the dog which take pride of place on my bedside cabinet.
Father’s Day introduces a mix of emotions for GJ Strachan. On one hand, esprit consequential of normally meeting up with one or both my offspring. However, at the other end of the emotional spectrum, melancholy borne from no longer being able to share this day with my late dad.
Footnote- Due to currently holidaying on the Iberian Peninsula, I’ll not get the opportunity to see my adult kids today. In lieu of their absence, my partner Sarah has vowed to treat my to a full Fathers Day fry up at a local eatery…. Be aware though Jonny and Rach she’ll want the money back when she sees you next. 😉
Today witnesses the sixth Father’s Day, since the 2017 passing of my father Malcolm. Subsequently I’m unable to present my old man (Malcolm) with the habitual, but always much appreciated, gifts of a bottle of Chilean merlot and a recently released musical CD.
With Mally not providing a forwarding address on his passing, the occasion will play out without presenting him with these traditional endowments…… That being said, if he had, I’d dread to think what postage costs we’d have incurred couriering the trinkets to his current location…. Not that he isn’t/wasn’t worth it, I hasten to add!
I can’t even send him a Father’s Day greeting on Facebook. Where his spirit now resides being one of the few places the social media mega giant hasn’t yet rolled out ….. Well, not that I’m aware of anyhow!
If it materialises FB is available in dad’s new domain, I’ll be a bit put out he’s not invited me as a friend yet!!… I’ll check my siblings ‘Friends List’ later to ascertain if they’re buddies with him. Hopefully our late patriarch hasn’t chosen to remains in touch with his two youngest offspring and keep his eldest child at arms length.
Saying that, dad had little interest in social media interaction when he was alive, so even if Zuckerberg’s platform does branch out as far as the afterlife, it’s unlikely our late father would sign up to the gig.
I hold romantic notions dad now resides in a utopian paradise where he’s entertained by his favourite singers Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme, while drinking a glass of red with ex-Leeds United hero Billy Bremner; reaping the reward for his decent lifetime behaviour warrants.
With my ailing faith, though, I’m yet to be convinced there exists a celestial heaven where dad mingles with his also deceased lifetime idols. One thing I’m utterly convinced of, though, is his spirit does and will always exist in the hearts of his family and close friends; individuals whose lives are infinitely the worse for his passing.
I think about Malcolm Strachan every single day. The triggers that blindside me can be simple as opening the cutlery drawer and witnessing the slightly marked potato peeling knife he’d use to make chips. Potatoes he’d cut with forensic symmetry; an OCD strategy followed to maximise chances the fries would attain a consistent level of browning.
On Father’s Day since his passing, I’ll spend part of the day endeavouring to ease his absence by playing the music he loved and raising a glass of merlot in his memory. The above imparting a brew of melancholy, interspersed with wry smiles while fondly recalling the man I was fortunate enough to have as a role model… Despite me sunning myself on an Atlantic Ocean beach, that tradition will be maintained .
Happy Fathers Day wherever you are dad… Love you and miss you every single day.