MEMORIES OF MY FATHER
(I never really told you how much I loved you.)
You were my hero and my inspiration,
The one who always helped me to be strong,
When I was just a child, you brought me comfort,
Were always there whenever things went wrong.
I always see you as I did in childhood,
With strong, sinewy arms and, lean, tanned face,
With black hair falling down across your eyebrows,
A tousled mop, which never stayed in place.
I remember when my fear of school disturbed me
The thoughts inside my head kept me from rest,
You’d take me on your knee and hold me closely,
And promise me all would be for the best.
The problems seem so small now I recall them,
‘Twelve pennies to a shilling’ taxed my mind.
At six those little problems seemed like mountains,
The solution was not very hard to find,
You came to school one day, I saw you waiting,
My childish heart was beating oh, so fast,
To see my daddy talking to my teacher,
I knew he’d have to listen then, at last.
Next day my teacher spoke to me so kindly,
His booming voice I never feared again
He helped me understand with so much patience,
And all because my fears you had explained.
Although not tall, to me you were a giant,
A man who was admired by everyone,
No matter what the challenge, you would face it,
Whatever came your way, it would be done.
I never heard you speak with obscene language,
As a husband you would always show respect,
A bitter word I never heard you utter,
The same things in return you would expect.
A carpenter, a painter, mathematician,
Accomplished in so many different ways,
But never did I hear you stoop to boasting,
A modest man you were through all your days.
When I became a woman and a mother,
To me you were a father and a friend.
But this new friendship suddenly was over,
And, much too soon, your life came to an end.
At fifty-five your life was taken from you,
At twenty I could hardly bear the pain:
A grandfather for such a very short time,
To think that we would never see again
Those deep-set twinkling eyes of steely grey,
Which comforted me so with just a glance,
I never really said how much I loved you,
And now it seemed I’d never have the chance.
You gave me life, you gave me love, and taught me
That anything we wish, we could achieve,
You taught me early, life is for the taking,
It seemed as if you knew you’d have to leave.
But I have found the Truth, and faith has taught me
That death is not the end of all our days,
I know I’ll see you in the Resurrection,
And we will be together for always.
When that time comes, I’ll say how much I love you,
That everything I am, I owe to you.
And, as we face eternity together,
My sweetest dream will finally come true.
Harold Barton, 15/4/1910-15/9/1965 RIP until we meet again.