Monday, October 7, 2013

Stories

Dearest Daughter,

For some time now, I’ve not done much with this. Partly because life kept getting in the way – but also because I’m not a particularly disciplined person.  Having thoughts and feelings is easy. Sorting them out on paper so that they make some sort of sense is not. It’s hard work and not much more fun than keeping fit using my treadmill in the evenings after work – and you know how often I manage to avoid that.

It occurred to me this past weekend (while we were at the theater together watching a play.. go figure) that the real problem was a matter of who I’m writing to. I've been writing this blog in my head to some nameless, faceless person who I imagined might be reading it. And honestly, I just lost interest in that person. So while I took notes of things going on in your life that I wanted to write about, I never got around to writing most of them.


But for some reason, while we were sitting there laughing and enjoying the play together, I suddenly realized that I don’t want to be writing this to anyone but you. So I won’t forget. And so you won’t either.

Because we do forget, you know. Sixty year on, I have to struggle to remember the sound of my grandparent’s voices even though they were once as familiar to me as my own. Time fades things. Even the things we love so very much. So this is my record of our time together, so we won't forget. From now on I’ll be writing it straight to you, for you to read after I’m gone.

You know how much I love Doctor Who. And there’s one scene in 'The Big Bang' - the Doctor has (as usual) saved the day and closed the crack in time, but does so at the cost of having his existence erased from history. And before the end he’s come to say goodbye to little Amelia as she sleeps.

“When you wake up, you’ll have a Mom and Dad! You won’t even remember me. I’ll just be a story in your head. And that’s okay…. We’re all stories in the end. 
Just.. make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best!”
And it’s true – we’re all stories. When I talk about my Dad to you – to me, he’s so real and my memories of him are so strong that I can almost see him there with us. But to you – he’s just a story.

And one day, that’s all I’ll be, sweet girl – I’ll just be a story you tell your kids.

And this is that story. Let’s make it a good one, eh?