on talking to Dad in the kitchen

This morning I was pottering around the house, cleaning this, tidying that and all the while the radio was playing in the background.  Mostly I was tuned out to the songs but suddenly one came through clearly. This song is about the Living Years and the lyrics are all about the regret you feel when the people you love are not there any more for you to talk to.  ‘I just wish I could have told them, in the living years’ a line that will resonate with me forever.

Suddenly, hands in the sink, the sun glinting across the kitchen window and the washing blowing in the breeze, I could hear myself chatting to my Dad.  What a conversation we had.  I told him all about the ups and downs of the politics of this country, we talked of fairness and of hope for the future.  I told him all about his great Granddaughter, and how she is the light of our lives, I talked about my sons, how much I had missed his wisdom while they were growing.  I explained about my daughter, soon off again on her travels and about how much the world had changed since he was last in it. I told him about my husband, and how he has the same calm and gentle manner that I loved in Dad. I told him about making my home in a town he had never visited and how I had found good and loving friends here.  I made him smile with tales of family gatherings and made myself sad that we have missed so much fun together.

We remembered the tough times of my growing years, when I would rebel and fight for freedom, and I thanked him for being constant, for the lessons he taught me, they have informed my life. Dad didn’t say much but I knew he was smiling and nodding, except for the bits about the politics, I think he frowned a lot then.  It was a two way chat, the like of which I don’t ever remember having before.  Eventually I stopped talking, the sink was still full of pots and the washing was still blowing in the wind.  Yet something had changed.  I felt a peaceful connection to the past and a real hope for the future.

So if you do actually have someone to talk to in these living years of ours please do so. You see my Dad and I did chat a lot, but so much has happened since last we sat side by side putting the world to rights there is so much more to talk about.  It was great this morning chatting in the kitchen to my funny, clever and wise Dad, who would do anything for his family, who shared his politics and talked more sense than anyone else I have ever met.

Use these living years wisely folks, grab life, love life and talk to all the important people as much as you can when and wherever you can.  There is nothing more precious than that.

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