We can trace a lot of things back to our childhoods. For better or for worse it’s those early years that form who we are.
I’m now coming to realise that there are many things that I see in my self today that can be traced directly back to my father and the influence he still has on me.
I blame my father.
I blame my father for the fact that time and time again I suddenly find myself awake in the middle of the night. I wake up and sense someone is in the room. Someone small and furry … with whiskers. It’s one, or often both of our cats wanting to get in under the covers. I love cats. I love them because my dad loved cats. He loved most animals but especially cats.
I blame my father for some of the music that is still stuck in my head. Dad was almost 44 years older than me and so his musical tastes weren’t exactly ‘current’. Which explains why to this day, among an very wide range of music in my collection, covering many different styles, I still listen to Bing Crosby, dad’s favourite singer. (Just don’t mention that I also listen to Sinatra. Dad was certainly not a fan.)
I blame my father for the fact that I’m a qualified chef. Dad was a chef and I followed that career for a number of years. I completed my four year apprenticeship then decided it really wasn’t for me, but it has given me skills I’ve been able to use ever since. It also meant that some years later I was able to work alongside dad for a week when he was cooking at a camp on Rottnest. It was a memorable week.
There are many more things I can see in me that come from my dad. Some good, some not so good. I also know there would be many other parts of who I am that I don’t even recognise as coming from dad but are still part of his influence.
It’s Father’s Day in Australia.
This is my thirteenth Father’s Day without my dad. George Thomas Olsen passed away in August 2002, just a few days before his 83rd birthday and around a month before Father’s Day of that year.
I really do miss dad but it’s not with an overwhelming sadness because I know he’s in a better place and I know I’ll see him again one day.
I still wish he was able to see Emily and James growing up into the wonderful young people that they’re becoming and to get to know Pauline even better.
I look forward to a new day when we’ll catch up on everything we’ve missed over the years.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
Today won’t be a sad day because I’ll be spending the day being a dad to my own children and working hard to ensure that there are many ‘good’ things that they’ll be able to blame me for in the years to come.
(Yes, that me with my dad and mum in the picture above. You can click on it for a closer look.)
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