Today is Father’s day down under. I have had 2 fathers in my life but only one Dad. In a weeks time, my dad will have been gone 2 years. And today I am missing him. It takes a lot more than donating sperm to make a dad. My first father hated me because I was a girl and he already had 2 of those when I was born. The last time I saw him I was 3 years old. I do not remember him and know nothing about him.
My dad, on the other hand, loved me. I count myself fortunate to have had him as my dad. He let me tag along with him to work during school holidays and I learned my love of nature from him. He loved nothing more than being in the bush and spent his life teaching others to use the land – working in remote areas teaching the locals to grow their food and how to use irrigation. He loved the wild life and in the years after the war, spent many hours drawing them.
So today, in memory of him, I spent time in nature. I went to the nature reserve and went for a long walk. Dad would have loved it here. I use all my senses to appreciate my surroundings on the path. There were beautiful flowers growing wild among the grass, wattle trees in full bloom, trees with delicate, purple flowers, flamboyant trees with their bright red flowers. The sound of kookaburras, crows, and other birds and frogs croaking in the streams and ponds. There’s a duck swimming with her ducklings. The smell of eucalyptus and the damp earth.
I visit the Koalas – love these creatures. There are a few lazily eating and others sleeping. It always amazes me the positions they sleep in. I remember when I first arrived in Australia and I would take the bus into work. Speaking to dad on the phone I would tell about the dolphins swimming in the river as we drove past – he was so envious. I am sorry I never got to share my world here with him with more than just my words.
I always wanted my dad to be proud of me – don’t know if he ever was. One of the hardest things I ever did was to leave South Africa but dad encouraged me to go. He wanted me to be safe and happy. I hope he knew how much he meant to me and what an enormous difference he made in my life. Love you dad and miss you every single day.