I still have not gotten over my father's death.
Strange how certain thoughts enter the head as one is trying to fall asleep. It is one thing to think about recent events or be a worry wart, trying not to be too bothered with problems. I'm not sure what was going through my head at the time, whether I was thinking about my father, or about death, or family, or ... whatever it was, it made me remember. And lately, I've been remembering so many things connected to my younger days.
The crescent moon has always been there, hasn't it? The different phases of the moon. A half moon. A full moon, especially, catches the eye. But lately, I notice the crescent shape and it reminds me of how I used to draw the moon when I was a child. The sun was always round and orange with the rays all around it. But the moon was crescent-shaped and coloured yellow. And, I think, for a while I must have thought that the moon was curved, a crescent against the night sky.
It was night when my father had his heart attack. I sat outside and waited for his doctor to arrive, who then brought him, and my mother, to the hospital. I don't think I noticed the moon then. There were street lights and it was quiet.
My father liked to enjoy his usual drink of brandy and ginger ale on the rocks and he sometimes sat outside in the evening. When I was a teenager, I learned how to make the drink for him - and it wasn't difficult at all, although I thought it was before I attempted it - and even had a sip now and then. When I was a young girl and the whole family was on holiday, he even allowed me to order Irish Coffee when we were relaxing in the hotel lounge, but I don't think I finished it nor even liked it all that much. It seemed the thing to do, something I grew up with. I don't really enjoy alcohol all that much and have been known to nurse a drink at a social gathering until the ice melts. There were times when I ordered a Manhattan just because I liked its name and its taste was bold. Perhaps a little too bold. I liked the small glass and the tinkle of the ice cubes within. It also reminded me, in a way, of my father's drink. Wine was fine. Champagne was even better. I found out what I liked in my later years. After all, what did I, as a child, really know? My father also enjoyed beer - and I learned how to pour it just so - but I never acquired a taste for it. So I obviously don't enjoy everything that my father enjoyed. And sometimes the smell of alcohol, whether it's beer or something else, on a man's breath, puts me off (especially if he gets too close), for I associate it with an unpleasant childhood memory or two. I tend to think that I associate it with beer for there is a particular aversion to it.
I can remember him and smile. Or I can remember and remain expressionless. They were a few isolated incidents. But they were enough, weren't they?
When I say that I miss my father, what do I really mean? Do I miss the "other" childhood during my teen years, the one I might have had? Do I miss having him around, growing old with my mother, talking with him? There is something that I miss and I know it has to do with my father. But I usually don't realise it until something catches me by surprise. And whether or not it is directly linked to the memory of my father, who knows?
A full moon, shining by itself in all its brilliance, intrigues me. It attracts my attention. Now the crescent moon has the same effect, it seems. It is almost comforting. And images from my childhood flash through my mind in a split second. Not one can be caught and examined. They're not picture slides but a collage of blurred images. Perhaps I'm being fanciful but why not just go with the moment?
One gets more sentimental as one gets older, I suppose. And I know that the images are more hazy these days as I have lived more years without my father. It feels somewhat strange at times whenever I think about it. But it shouldn't be. I was a teenager then. I am an older woman now. Twenty-four years is a long time to have lived a life without a father. And yet I feel that he hasn't really left me. Or maybe I still refuse to let go.
My father hurt me. But he also loved me. Or is it that my father loved me, but he also hurt me.
The crescent moon is there, way up high above me. And it reminds me of home. It's actually pretty. It's consoling. It's perfect. It makes me remember and it doesn't. It makes me feel and it doesn't. But it is there. Not always. But it's time will come again.