Monday, 25 October 2010

A Rare Indulgence in Self-Pity of the Acutest Kind

Today my flatmate told me that her sisters college application will be unlike everyone else’s because she hasn’t know any grief in her life. For a moment, I had to stop and think how little she must appreciate that.

Tonight, I stumbled across the amazing obituary of the father of a friend of mine, and began wondering if any had been written about my Dad. I have a copy of the piece that appear in PRWeek on his death which moves me on every reading, and drives me to be someone similarly revered for business acumen and excellence. Of course, he wasn’t written about in the national press, but I did find this: a piece about his band, a joke among colleagues.

I also read in this mornings Metro that a pill is being produced which might be able to kill cancer cells and leave health cells alone, and all I could think of was, it’s too late for some…

I suppose I came to this space, MY space, my humble blog, to say that what I remember is this…

A fiercely competitive, passionate, sun-shiny man, who wore beautiful suits and colourful shirts and ties. I remember sitting on my parents’ bed and helping chose the shirt ties combo, and he would unwrap the chosen item from its cellophane dry-cleaner’s wrapping.

At this time of year I especially remember long, chilly walks through Battersea Park, kicking crunchy and sodden, crimson and amber leaves with a small, welly-clad foot. And, sheltering from the autumn wind,, watching England play rugby, and the volume with which my father would celebrate their success (as if it was his own).

I remember sitting in the back of endless car journeys with my brothers, each of our faces glued to a Game Boy, and my father yelling, “LOOK! Look, Chaps! Isn’t that a lovely view!” as we drove through the shires, or the Loire. I remember sitting in the back of his red Mercades convertible, driving through fields of sunflowers as the sun set, and I remember finding him crying after the death of my mother. I remember his dancing (and so do his friends!) which made me turn purple with mortification (in hind sight, I wish I had joined in). I remember his temper, which terrified me as a girl. Spilt juice was the most likely catalyst for yelling. I remember being treated like a princess when I went to visit his offices, and working with Harry, the graphic designer, to superimpose his face onto other people’s bodies.

I remember, as if it had happened ten minutes ago, the final words I spoke to him.

Sometimes it does seem quite fair. But I will always be fiercely proud to possess the same DNA as James Maxwell.

1 comment:

B said...

Thank you for writing this my love. It was incredible to read so I hope it wasn't too painful to write- I'm glad that you have these memories and can share them here when you want to.
See you soooon... B x