My father seemed a grey, austere and complex man, though he was not humourless. He certainly could laugh and had what one might only describe as a twinkle in his eye.
I cannot imagine I ever felt able to call him daddy but no doubt I did. He was intelligent, aware and appreciated the good things of life. You might say he had excellent taste in a bohemian and slightly satirical way.
He could be caring and considerate but generally appeared, to me at any rate, fairly conservative, reserved and restrained. This, I do not get the impression was how everybody saw him as somehow I imagine among his more theatrical friends he was able to become somewhat less inhibited.
I believe my father wrestled with himself, was ambitious and felt creatively frustrated in many ways although he achieved much in business and in his private life. I believe he was generally liked although I know he found it hard to make a breakthrough with my mothers family. This I am certain did not help their relationship.
He, like all, I suppose, was basically selfish and before it was conventional to do so chose his will above the care or love of his children. Not that I have not sympathised with him or understood his choices but O’ that he had really known his God, he might have weathered the storm of matrimonial conflict, loved again his mate and been the father I ultimately never had.
I have tried to paint a realistic portrait of the man who has dogged my past, whose spectre looms up from time to time to tempt me to justify my weakest resolve to family and love. But knowing now a generous father my decision must always be of judgement on the actions, so foolish, that he took and pride in my God who has caused me to stand firm amid the darkening days of Britains apostate night.
Thank God, my little children in your pain at my weaker nature. Thank God, that through the imperfect skeleton of the outline I have drawn, O so dimly my faith declares a father so brave, so honest, so true, so fair, regal and loving. I proffer him to you, a father of joy a righteous man and handsome who stands for more than integrity, justice, rightness but deeper qualities, so deep they hurt, they cut the selfish life and cause the heart to sing so merry, to trust and say yes, he is my man and my example. To break the cynics stare and warm the cold hand, sooth the fevered brow.
This my father you could have been to me, my memories of you so fond but now I love you, redeemed from painful memory by the blood of a son who knew too the separation from father and who cried so sadly, so boldly, so finally –
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani“
Reunited, God’s family became and I dear Father rejoin on behalf of my sweet children.
We love you Father dear.
Your memory is not greater than the smile you show today.
written in 1989 – completed 22.06.1993
This is an essay I suppose. I wrote it over 25 years ago when I was around 4o years. In common with my decision to archive all my writing on this site I am publishing it now exactly as I wrote it. It is an honest piece, full of faith and fervour. I considered re-writing it to give it an improved literary presence and reflect my religious standpoint more clearly but it has heart, belief and feeling which is how I wish my children to remember me. So that they may say, ‘He had heart, belief and feeling’.
– #eden bray 21.04.2018