Sunday, 3 September 2006

Happy Fathers' Day

Stanley Graves (25th April 1928 - 5th January 2002)
Janet Graves, née Duffy (27th June 1930 - 6th June 1993)

Dear Mum & Dad,

It's a long time since you have had contact from me but rest assured that you are often in my thoughts and memories. I also see you in my own actions and in members of the family - in their mannerisms, their facial expressions and in the sounds of their voices. While physically you have gone from our lives you are not forgotten.

As I sit here and type, I'd like to think that you would be proud of me and the life I am living. I know that I am thankful to have had you as my parents. I believe it's thanks to your cultural beliefs, mentoring, sometimes downright bullying and, most of all, your belief in and love of me that I have turned out so well

Thanks to secure beginnings & the encouraging lessons about change being an adventure to embrace rather than a peril to be avoided or endured, I achieved my childhood dreams of going to uni, playing piano well and travelling to Europe. In fact, I have surpassed all those dreams and gone further than I ever thought possible. I have lived in varied and interesting places and have met a wide variety of fascinating people. I have managed the good and the bad that life has offered and I'm still planning projects and new beginnings well into my 40s. I am also well loved by my husband, family and friends, liked by colleagues and associates and respected by students.

Thank you for letting me get on with my own life as an adult. Healthy neglect and a blind eye was really good for letting me learn by my mistakes. I was an independent miss from an early age and therefore don't pretend that all of our interactions were smooth sailing. I never realised until I had children of my own how difficult it must have been to stand on the sidelines and watch me bumble my way through my teens and twenties to find my own place in the world. I hope that I manage to be as wise as you in that respect.

Thank you for showing love and genuine liking for each so often in front of us kids, Mum and Dad. Having 7 children in 8 years must have been difficult, especially during our teenage years when we were 'expressing ourselves'. There were times in my idealistic youth when I could not see what you two saw in each other. What kid does? It's funny the things you remember. There was a day in my mid-thirties when it struck me that it didn't really matter what you saw in each other from my perspective, the point was that it must have been something really good for two super intelligent people to still agree about it nearly 40 years after you were married. I remember at the time thinking that that was pretty cool. I always loved you as my parents but that day I realised how much I liked you as people in your own right not my parents.

I miss you, Mum & Dad.

Lots of love to you wherever you are,

Felicity xoxo

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