My father and my oldest brother were both born on August 5th. In Dad's case it was 1914 and in Paul's case it was 1947. If Dad had still been alive he would have been ninety nine today and Paul would have been sixty six. They were both wonderful, kind and intelligent men who had real passion for life and I'm proud that I swim in the same gene pool as them but apprehensive about the fact that it was the pumping heart that failed them both.
Hard to believe that it was the summer of 1979 when I last sat with Dad in the"The Duke of York" pub in Skirlaugh and reviewed my last year of teaching and his first year of retirement from the teaching profession. We had become good friends. There was more to it than father and son. At his funeral I wanted to sing like a bird but my voice fractured and quavered, ruining the hymn tunes. And the village church was packed.
And Paul, dear Paul. Gregarious, multi-talented, impatient, excessive, obsessive, a treasure house of jokes and songs and anecdotes.He played his violin like the Fiddler of Doolin, sawing away into the early hours as the Irish rain pelted down like stair-rods in a velvet black darkness.
I know that they both loved me dearly and tonight I am missing them both. What I would give for one more evening. The Guinness, the memories, the laughter. Just glad to be alive. Dad...Paul I am toasting you with a can of "Lowenstein" lager from "Aldi" as I sit at this computer, tapping away before bedtime. Sweet dreams...
|Dad, Paul and Mum - probably in the summer of 1949|