Dad,You have been gone 36 years now. I can still see how red the sky was as I walked back across Singleton park that day in early December 1983. I was 25 then abd I am 60 now. You have a grandson and there are so many things I wish I could share with you and talk to you about.
You gave me so many things, a love of reading and knowledge, a non-tolerance of racism , respect for different cultures, a rebellious nature and a certain eccentricity that we both share.
I have learnt so much in those thirty-two years, you would have loved to hear about the cultures I studied in Social Anthropology, the Philosophers I have read. My Ecosocialism and my rejection of the Neo-liberals and the flat emptiness if the politicians of the conventional political establishment.
There have been dark days..very dark over those years, and days of ecstasy and joy. I would love to have shared those times with you and reflected upon them with you
I have many books now , dad. Some of them were yours. I thank you for the things you gave me, for the love of words, for the love t of Mythology, Legends and Folk tales. I thank you for that near Death Experience you shared with me when you met the Old Gods and Goddesses of Greece. I hope when my time comes to enter the Summer lands that they are there for me too.
I remember smelling your Senior Service cigarettes the day Morgan was born. I remember watching “Brief Encounter” with you and I remember your tears. You are a romantic like me and you gave me the faith to hold out for love.
I remember your funeral. It was a dark wet day in late December. Suddenly, as your coffin was lowered, the sun burst through and a breeze shot around the church yard. The old Gods came for you , your other world was not the Christian one of the Angels and the clouds, it was a richer passionate one with no room for St Augustine and the company of Saints…but I miss you and love you particularly today.
And yet I am glad you do not exist in this bitter world. Your gentle liberalism would wilter in this time.I love you Dad and will see you at the mending of the world..
There is no final victory, there is no final defeat. Just the same battles which have to be fought over and over and over again. Tony Benn