Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Man I Take For Granted

I don't tell you enough.
I don't call you enough either, I know that.
I could text you, but I'm not sure you would read it.

I'm your daughter, and I don't tell you that I appreciate you.

I like to think that you know that I do, because you too are silent in your own appreciation for others. I don't want you to think that I've forgotten about you.

I can feel my mother fidgeting with restlessness as she searches for her words. She's wondering where her internet infamy is, but only because she wants so badly to be a hero too. I know she feels the heat of envy start to prickle on her face, but her time will come one day. Today, this is about you.

You're a misunderstood man, with a temper that could disarm Tony Soprano. You're complicated and kind, and you're my father. I know not to approach a delicate subject if I see you twiddle with your greying curls. I know how to check the oil on the car, and I know how to make omelettes like you would. You taught me everything that I know. 

You've almost been killed (probably) at my hands in your own car. This is why I have to tell you now, because you dice with death each time you take my sister out to drive. There have been times you have reduced me to unspeakable rage, and there have been times I've made you hold your head in your hands. It's family, and it's blood.

I'm ashamed, and this is why I can't always show you how grateful I am. I'm sorry that you still take care of me, long after I've left your home. I can practically hear my mother cry "But that is what we're here for." I know you will always help me when you can, because you have raised me to do the same. 

I'm sorry about that time I didn't stop at that junction on Dale Road, and then shouted at you for shouting at me. I'm sorry that I have inherited my mother's penchant for always always speaking at full volume, and that you probably never know the solace of peace and quiet. I'm sorry, because I'm your independent and overly stubborn daughter, and sometimes I can't accept help gracefully.

I'm also sorry that I incessantly tell you what is best for my sister. Even though she is actually a brat, and knows about it. I know that I'm very annoying, and that I have something to say about everything. The thing is, I want her to boast the kind of parenting that I did, the kind that values pennies and kindness, the kind that rears a champion.

A lot of people do not have their fathers around, I realise this. Some were abandoned, and some have been robbed of them by the faceless enemy of illness and accident. Some people suffer the symptoms of the cruelty of dumb luck. I've read a lot of stories, and I applaud the women that never needed a father, but I'm silently grateful that I always had you.

You work too hard, and I worry about your heart. You are bound by blood ties and cheque books, and I wish that I could help you too. Your hands map the struggle, as your skin starts to wear and your fingers are ingrained with the black dust of a day on the job. You work until the ache travels to your bones, and age is a constant reminder that you can't work this way forever. It's a constant reminder that you are our beloved lifeline, our patriarch.

I don't call you enough.