Monday, 8 July 2013

And that's why I still need my Dad

And that's why I still need my Dad
6 July 2013

A while ago I wrote a blog about how I still need my Mom.  Practical, every day examples of why she is still so important in my daily life.  Illustrating clearly how vital she is and how valuable she is to her whole entire family.  To every single one of us.

It made me realise just how blessed I am to have her in my life.  How appreciative and grateful I am for the depth, colour and ever present humour she brings to my world.

Though at the same time, it also made me realise that the same applies to my dad too.

I still need my Dad.  For some things, only he will suffice.  There is no substitute.  Simply no one else will do.

There are questions only he can answer.  Memories that only he can help to recall.  Stuff that only he can do.

No one else can quite come close to giving an awesome hug like him.  His hugs were legendary.

When we were little he used to sing the laughing song, which basically entailed lots and lots and lots of laughing.  The whole song long.  In fact, I don’t recall there being any words at all.  And he just did it so well.  His rendition always brought forth peals of laughter from those listening to him.  Perhaps it was his deep voice.  Perhaps his facial expressions.  Still the end result was most amusing and hugely entertaining.

And then there used to be a programme on TV when I was small that was quite simply called "Rooi en Blou".  Which translates as red and blue.  It was these little red and blue clay blobs, and they used stop motion animation, to manipulate the balls into shapes and then they would interact with each other.  Perhaps the forerunners of Wallace and Gromit?  They made the funniest noises.  Having whole indecipherable conversations.  And he could mimic their voices or rather sounds perfectly and did so quite regularly, purely for our pleasure.  We used to love it when he did those for us.  I include a clip and I’m sure it might jog a memory or two.

He often used to reminisce about his youth.  Remembering radio programmes him and his brother used to listen to.  And I used to love when he told of all his naughty antics at school.  And believe you me, he was a real naughty little bugger.  Still those stories all sounded so fascinating and adventurous.  His tales of fighting on the border and his army days.  Meeting my mom and their courtship.  The wonderful stories he could tell about my grandparents and great-grandparents.  Visits to Ouma Maggie on the farm.  Speaking about all he learnt from his various art teachers.  How they enriched him and made his world bigger.

I miss the smell of oil paints that always seemed to cling to him.  The pervasive air of greatness, of knowledge, of goofiness, the ever present bulge in his shirt pocket courtesy of a pack of Gauloises Plain cigarettes, his deep and husky voice, his beautiful green eyes, his 'stache (very few men can truly rock a moustache, yet he did so with an amazing amount of panache), his sense of humour, his perceptiveness, his creative spirit, his visionary abilities, his people skills, his fabulous laugh, his arsenal of quirky sayings, the way he used to hum with pleasure whenever he ate cheese, the look of concentration on his face when he was busy with a painting or a sketch (I loved watching him at work), the funny way he was able to type remarkably fast even though he only used two fingers, his love of music always blaring in our house, his constant imparting of little titbits of knowledge, his very focal viewpoints on things he felt strongly about, his level of comfort in going against the grain and upsetting the apple cart, his firm belief in right and wrong, the way he absolutely never used an indicator because "it's obvious I'm going to turn here", the way he adored my Mom, the love that shone out of his eyes whenever he looked at any of us.

There are so many little things, that I still need so much.  That only he can give me.  That I still need him for.  Stuff I need to see, learn and hear from him.  It fills me with sadness, that he just isn't there anymore and at times it is still able to take my breath away.  Will it ever stop?

Perhaps that's the way it is supposed to be?  Ensuring we think of him always.  Still, I have had some people in my life, who have passed and haven't made much of a dent at all.  Yet his absence has left a huge gaping void.  A hole that can never be filled.

But then I take a good look around me and I see him once more.

His eyes greet me every morning when I look in the mirror. My home is magnificently adorned with his beautiful artworks all around – two incredible paintings in my bedroom alone..  Oil paintings, sketches, drawings, even wooden carvings.  His music is played often and I see his character and personality in the family he left behind.  Even in the grandchildren he never got to know.  Cole has inherited his drumming skills, Luke his artistic ability, Amber his sense of humour.  As he is getting older, my brother, Albert, is exhibiting more and more of his mannerisms and looking more like him too.  And so the list goes on.

And so in this manner, perhaps indirectly I still have physical manifestations of him all around.  And these truly fill me with joy.

Some people leave this world, with a barely perceptible ripple.

Frank D Frost left an earthquake followed by a tsunami in his wake.  And maybe therein lies his greatest gift to us.  Because how could we forget him?  He left us so much to remember him by.

Though he only lived for 46 short years, he made a huge mark on this world and on the lives of many around him.  Never to be forgotten.

Fourteen and a half years later, the ripples are still rippling.  And his life is still celebrated by those who knew him. 

May those waves never stop.  I enjoy riding them too much.

Come on! Be a sport - click and like on Facebook

Receiving my degree from Stellenbosch University - my Dad's mom, Ouma Cathy, took the pics.  She was so excited, that she pushed down too hard with each pic that she took on her little mik-en-druk, and subsequently chopped everyone's heads off.  This is one of the best ones we've got.  I believe this was a very proud day for my folks.  I was 20, my Mom was 39, and my Dad was 40.  Amazing!

Celebrating my folks' 25th Wedding Anniversary - unbeknownst to all of us, I was already pregnant with Luke, and Frankie was already sick

Fame at last - My Dad had his own street named after him at Oppikoppi - Frank Frost Freeway

Oupa Frank and baby Luke - this was taken just six months before he died.  He was already very sick at this stage.

A favourite family pic, taken of the five of us, at my wedding

Two very proud teenagers, showing off their brand new baby, the day I came home from the hospital

We lived in Clanwilliam for a stint, and this was taken during the height of flower season, in the open veld right next to our house

Celebrating baby Katrine's christening - I had the honour of carrying her into the church, and I do believe that this is the only dress I wore during my childhood, as I was very much a tomboy and hated dresses with a passion!

A family pic taken many moons ago, when I was still a teenager going through a very bad hair-phase

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