Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dad.


I woke up this morning with the strongest urge to ring my dad. But I can't because he died of melanoma almost five years ago. That makes me sad, yes, but mostly I'm angry. I have a lot to share with him and am eternally frustrated that he's not on the other end of the phone.




For the bigger part of my life, my dad worked in the shed in our yard making model houses for architects. He found his way there after an exhaustive career with the education department. He was meticulous and inventive and took great pride in his work. We were proud of him too. On a hot day he would collapse into the pool regularly to cool off, and it must have been bitterly cold out there in the winter. I think he had a little bar heater for warmth. He worked day and night, and I doubt it was particularly remunerative but it was his thing. And he was good at it.



I remember hanging out with him in the shed, fiddling with his plastic samples and special knives and watching him work. I'm sure I just talked at him for hours but he always listened and paid attention. With three children, he had an amazing way of making each of us feel like the centre of his world.



When I left home, he would call me every evening to see how my day had gone. We would natter about nothing, often over a gin and tonic and my day would be complete.



I, too, work in a shed in the backyard. My own daughter comes out and talks 'at' me and I try to listen and be patient, like my dad was. She organizes my buttons and my ribbons, and is starting to make things of her own. I would like to think that I am inventive and I do take enormous pride in my work. When it's hot I have an airconditioner (no pool to collapse into) and I'm hoping the reverse cycle function will be effective over the coming months. Otherwise I'll be relying on uggboots and fingerless gloves.



My dad would love my shed, he would spend hours in it with me asking questions and poking about. We would natter over a gin and tonic.
But I guess we already are.
I miss you dad, but you're always there.

J

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Jen.

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  2. This made me cry. Lovely Jen. I to have a very special relationship with my dad, as he brought me and my brother up by himself, and I can't imagine the day I will not be able to call. xx

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  3. well what about when he would say to one of us "you know you're my favourite"... then quickly say it to the other 5 mins later. Yep top bloke that one.....

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  4. Very touching, Jen xxx I was a Daddy's Girl too. I lost my Dad suddenly 6 years ago at Christmas time. I think of him everyday and I know he is very proud of the family I have created, that he never got to enjoy in his lifetime. I'm sure your Dad is watching over you too, beaming with pride at his little girl, working hard in her shed xxxxxx

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  5. Beautifully written Jen :)
    x

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  6. Lovely Jen, my dad is an Architect and I remember when I was little him making models for his clients. I am lucky I still have my Dad, but his influence was very great, I "grew up" to be an Architect and make models of my own in my uni days.

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  7. Just beautiful, how lucky you are to have such wonderful memories, as your daughter will with you.
    xoxo

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  8. A lovely post Jen, even though my dad is really sick in hospital at the moment, it just makes me so grateful that I still have him to chat to. BTW - you look so much like him!!

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  9. Oh Jen - you made me weep. Your family is so wonderful, that I'm sure your Dad would be very proud of you. You are a fantastic Mum, always so patient & loving with lil poppet, and I'm sure that is a reflection of your Dad's love for you. xx Tarnie

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  10. Thank you for that little story, Jen. What a lovely insight into the character of your Dad. And I love that you're repeating the same scenario with your own daughter, remaking some very precious memories. Magic. :)

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  11. This was so touching, just beautiful. You look so much like your Dad.. =) xx

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