Sunday, 19 June 2011

A very special father's day...

I know there have been lots of father's day cards from me to my dad in the time from when I was old enough to make them or buy them to the time of his death, now 12 years past.....but the only father's day card that I will always remember was 1975's. No present that year, just a simple card making no big promises of undying love and gratitude but added to that card the biggest gesture I could ever make.

Three years earlier my dad had shown his objection to my choice of boyfriend by not talking to me! As it happens this boyfriend was a lot more suitable than some had been, he was clean, healthy, polite and respectful and in full time employment - but he was not of our faith! I wasn't the first of my siblings to have a non-Jewish boyfriend, my eldest sister got very close but was then packed off to relatives overseas to "get over it", but I held my ground and that boyfriend has been my hubby for nearly 38 years so far. Holding my ground resulted in silence from my dad for three years, us having our wedding a year earlier than we would have planned (so no savings), mum coming to the wedding without dad (torn between us) and us moving into bed-sits because we couldn't afford anything else!

Actually I didn't blame him, even though he was not a religious man himself and it was more his belief that he was teaching a child right from wrong (in his eyes). He never tried to stop me but he refused to show his approval. I don't think he ever tried to stop my mum from sticking by me or coming to the wedding which was quite a big thing with his Victorian attitude to being the master of his family. It was three very long years without him but we were both pig-headed and I certainly wasn't going to make the first move to have it thrown back in my face. So the first year when I was still living at home was the hardest but then there were two more years after the wedding of knowing I had a dad that couldn't allow himself to be part of my life.

Father's Day 1975 and dad was in hospital (can't remember why but know it was nothing major) and I walked onto the ward at visiting time, mum and a sister already at the bedside and I just threw a card gently onto his legs without saying anything, he opened the card and said thank you............we were friends again and I'd paved the way for three more siblings to marry out and be accepted by him.