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Saturday, October 21, 2006


Today you would have been 74. Before the dark, painful, difficult days, it would have been just another Saturday to you. A day filled with promise, with books, with plans, with seeing friends, with walking the dog. I never even let myself consider, that the day you turned 72, it would be the last birthday I'd get to share with you. Those last few years were so terrible, that evil disease fighting to rob you of your life. And, sadly, although you met it head-on with such courage, such valour, such determination, it won.

The loss of my Dad.

This is your second birthday since you left. The second date marked in my diary when all I can do is think of you - and this year post about you. The second time there is no phone call of congratulations, no words exchanged about aging and love and how special you are to me. The second time that I have no gift for you, no silly card that makes you smile.

Today, I can give you only this gift. This gift of sharing you amongst my friends. This gift of telling people about the man who anchored me, who cherished me, who always called me 'Fi-Fi'. I was always his little girl no matter my advancing years.

My Dad, Craig. My wonderful, caring, patient father. Whom I not only take after physically but whom I take after inside. We have the same sense of humour, the same practicality, the same generosity. Just sitting in a room together, we shared. He was a self-made man, a provider to all. His funeral in Scotland, the home he returned to after 48 years, brought out so many people. People who hadn't had contact with him in almost that many years, but who continued to remember him with honour, friendship and pride. He filled the church that clear cold March day.

I read some words and we bowed our heads as we heard him spoken of. I upset the minister by insisting we sing 'Jerusalem' as it was his favourite hymn. For those in the know, you'll understand that all references to 'England' caught in the throat of the Scottish minister. But oh how my Dad would have laughed at that.

Happy Birthday Dad. I'll never stop missing you.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

And to end with a beautiful image - I love this pic of my Dad with my 'chosen sister', Nooj, (taken years ago at my wedding):


Sunny Delight said...

Oh my darling woman, he sounds like a wonderful man, a loving man, a true man of honor and love, I have no idea how it would feel to lose a parent...especially one that is so much a part of who you are....I feel for you, I send you a big loving hug.
Wishing you didn't have to lose him so young....but you do have all those years of wonderful memories that you can hold so close within your heart.

freebird said...

Yes, all that Sunny says... and may I say he *looks* gorgeous too. Cherish those precious memories. xxx

chele said...

Aw! That last picture never fails to make me smile. Thats how I always picture them both when I think of them.*steals your dad's thithel thocks and runs*

He sure was something special but he also left behind something even more special.*hugs* I know he would be proud of the woman he created..most importantly now seeing all your doing for your mother. I know he hurts but I know he is SO very proud of you and of course he knew who was to be counted on in the end didnt he.

LePhare said...

It's been eighteen months since my father passed on. He'd been ill for many years and just got tired of fighting.

I really understand how you feel. I think of him every day and have so much I would love to talk over with him. But he's still there, just making sure I get things right.

I'm sure your father is doing the same.

Beautiful pictures Fi.

Fiona said...

Sunny, Freebird, Chele, Ian....thank you for your lovely comments, and for letting me share my memories with you.

He was indeed a great man and yes...a gorgeous man.

Nooj said...

It was truly truly an honor to have known Mr A... one of my favourite pictures in the whole world is that very one with him, it totally captures us in the very essence of the moment, the occasion, the spririt and just plain gives me a fuzzy feeling... Fi your father was so proud of you..and I thank him for giving me ma soul sistah!

Fiona said...

aaawww thank ya Nooj, he sure did have a blast with you that evening!!

And I'm very fond of your dad too!!!

Emily said...

I am so very sorry about the sadness you must be feeling. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man, and it must be very hard.

I love the image of him laughing while the Scottish minister objects to Jerusalem! :-)


Fiona said...

Thank you Emily - there is sadness at my loss, but gladness at being so lucky in the father I had.

It was a grand moment....he actually couldn't bring himself to say 'England' the last time *L*...it was unintentional, but I know my dad was having a good laugh at it!!

hahahahhahaah oh Chele the 'thithle thockth'!!!! To explain, my dad had most of his tongue removed and some of his cheek and jaw and he couldn't speak very well....we made him talk about his 'thistle socks', i.e. the ones he wore with his kilt, and pretended not to understand him...and he laughed so hard about that one...he even took well to a ribbing about that!!!

DG said...

No greater gift can the world recieve
than that of a fathers girl
she has his heart and all his dreams
wrapped up in her Auburn curl.

Just a little gift of celebration.

Fiona said...

DG that is just the sweetest thing!! You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.


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