Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Of random thoughts and the stories they hold ............... another post on becoming my dad

Perhaps it is just a factor of age but I find myself in  those quiet moments drifting back over the acres of the past.

An unknown moment in time
It isn’t nostalgia, it is more a random series of thoughts encompassing events, accidents and faces all jumbled up in no logical pattern which tumble over themselves.

Now we will all have them but in the past they were either very purposeful or very fixed and lasted just a short time.

But all of that I suspect has a lot to do with busy lives where work, the kids and the supermarket all compete to push such rambling thoughts into the background.

Not so anymore and here I think Dad comes into play, because I noticed the same in him.

You would wander into the room and catch him staring into space lost in his own private world.

Of course he may just having been thinking about what to have for dinner or when to repaint the chipped and scratched kitchen door but I rather think there was more.

I never asked him which was less about not wanting to intrude and more about being too preoccupied with myself but then I doubt he would have said overmuch.

He was a quiet man who kept much to himself and like his brothers shrugged off questions about his past as pointless.

Sometime in the 1970s
All of them seemed far more interested in the present and so you would find that you got half an answer which was then closed down with a change of subject.

That said I never pursued some of the questions and as a result whole chunks of our family story have been lost.

And in turn that has meant that endless trek across the official documents from census returns to certificates of births, deaths and marriages.

All designed to fill in the gaps in our knowledge about dad.

I would like to say it is a generational thing but I find myself doing something similar although in my case it is simply finding the time to tell the story.

All of which leaves me wondering what Dad did think about which is all the more immediate as I trawl through more of his papers.

Here are pictures of friends who I will never know, a shed load of official documents including his passports stretching back to before the war and those personal bits and pieces like the testimonials and references from past employers.

At which point I have own up that this is nothing more than an idle set of thoughts loosely held together with the idea that we should all commit our stories to paper especially if like me those thoughts are becoming more frequent and more random.

Picture; dad and unknown friend, date unknown and in the 1970s

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