Deidre Green: Remembering My Father

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In observance of Father's Day, Deidre Green remembers her father.

He would lift me into the air and seat me on the handlebars of his bicycle, urging me to hold on tightly. Then my Dad would peddle, slowly at first, as we bicycled to his attic shed nearby, where he crafted finely-hewn furniture in Sydney, Australia.

My Dad gave me my first job at sixpence a week, sweeping the cedar wood shavings from the floor of his shed. Once swept into a pile, I would then take a running dive into the wood heap, whooshing the shavings up into the air. Thankfully, my Dad found this amusing; I would, of course, clean the floor again.

One evening when the bicycle wasn’t working, we walked home. As we passed the last shops, we spied an old dog, shivering in the shadows. My Dad purchased a can of food from the nearest shop, had it opened and offered it to the dog. Even as a youngster, I knew my Dad could ill-afford that can of food, however, it was a gesture I never forgot.

During World War II in Sydney, we practiced air-raid drill within our community. At the siren sound, we would gather essentials and head toward the air-raid shelter nearby. My Dad would always take the pet birds in their cage; I wanted to include the gold-fish bowl as well, but that never happened.

Reaching adulthood, I left family and home to travel. Both parents assumed I would return within a few months. But those months became years and when I returned to Sydney for a visit, my parents were waiting for me at Sydney airport; my Dad smiling with tears streaming down his face.

And so, to all fathers on this special day, rejoice in the lives you share, the remembrance of years spent growing together and the understanding that a father’s love is returned through the passage of time and the passing of parenthood from one generation to the next.

With a Perspective, I’m Deidre Green.

Deidre Green lives in San Rafael.