It has been a hard week.

My birthday was on Monday. I specifically said to all my nearest and dearest that I didn’t want the day acknowledged, given that it was less than a month since my father died and I didn’t feel at all celebratory. They mostly understood: I did end up with some low key very thoughtful gifts from my youngest, including owl fleece pj pants; a gift of future hair from my eldest (hairdresser) – her accompanying card made me cry and some home picked flowers and gardener’s hand cream from my mother. A card from my brother. But all delivered while I was at work and genuinely able to forget it was my birthday and they were honouring my wishes not to mention it (unless in passing) until much, much later (day after).

But apparently the whole birthday cult thing has seized upon our society. Facebook actively reminds people. I have to say, I can’t think that any of those people who happily wished me a happy birthday and got the morose response that I was too sad to bother (and by the way, Father’s Day could ram a cactus up its arse sideways as well)  benefited from social media that day.

But even worse was the friend/ex-friend I ran into at the last venue stop of the day. I don’t want to go into detail right now but suffice to say that she is family, she let me down at a time at time I needed her most and I can’t seem to get past it. She will be at my father’s wake tomorrow and yesterday she greeted me, in front of paxs and professional colleagues with a cry of “Happy Birthday!”. We couldn’t talk; I had tasks to perform and I would never involve with any non-tour business until my obligations (both stated and personal) were met. She said that she would call that night; she never did and I was so relieved.

I hated the fact that she had said “Happy Birthday” in front of so many of my passengers. Luckily, at the end of the day they barely notice I am a sentient being, rather than a nagging automated transport system.

I had to accept well meant birthday wishes or look churlish; either that or explain why I wasn’t noting it and that was distressing for all involved, rather than just me. It was hard.

To add bruise to blow (thank you, Evelyn Waugh: insult to injury is so mainstream these days), our regional rag paper chose to publish my father’s obituary on my birthday. My God, that hurt. I looked at those pictures of him alive, vital and  I could feel it squeeze, visceral, in my chest.

I’m attaching the scanned copy. Yes, it means anybody with two brain cells to rub together can work out who I am but then this blog was never a real secret. It was more put over here to make potential employers work hard for online negative stuff about me and to give ex-husband/boyfriend stalker types an extra five minutes of work to find me and they have anyway. I just don’t have the emotional resources anymore to care. I’ve proved myself.

I was so proud of my father and I would be happy if others would read about him.


About quirkycharm

I like to think that I have a certain quirky charm but I am probably being optimistic. Acquired taste, perhaps, which many don't acquire. This is about my fifth blog out there. My hosting companies kept going out of business or my IT exhusband kept hacking into them and I would move again. I don't do twitter, I barely do facebook, I don't try and 'monetize' my blog. I love my husband, my grown children and my job and this particular incarnation of oversharing my life comes at a time when I am the most content that I have ever been. I write always, sporadically during the good stuff and exhaustingly during the bad.
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4 Responses to It has been a hard week.

  1. Cate Rose says:

    Thanks for sharing I had no idea of his early exploits …brought tear to my eye well written by a loving son. You have so many of his best qualities.

    C x

    Ps didn’t send birthday wishes thinking u probably didn’t feel exactly like celebrating just didn’t seem right – so that was a good call based in your blog. Hug.

  2. Snowy says:

    Your Dad had a very full life, and you are right to be very proud of him, as I’m sure your Dad would have been very proud of his daughter. Time does dull the ache, although we find that hard to believe. Life goes on, and we must too, trite though those words seem at the time.

    • quirkycharm says:

      I think he was one of an interesting breed and generation of men, of which I think you, too, are one, and I worry that we are breeding the interestingness out and the blandness in.

      Maybe it was the colonial background that gave my father his edge or maybe it was the undeniable family eccentricity genes (probably would be diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome these days) but it leaves me with an unfillable place where he was.

      Thank you for the sympathy and I really am not wallowing too much in grief. I think the thing I miss most is the writing, though. We wrote back and forth to each other every few days.

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