Twenty years

20 years...twenty fucking years...

You make me feel old damn it! Well, actually, thinking about it, no I don’t feel that old. Thinking of the twenty years that have passed, how that time has gone, it is hard to believe that much time has passed at all. I feel and do many of the things I did twenty years ago. I have gained and grown so much, I hold on to what is dear to me, including a hockey stick. I suppose that is why it is difficult to take in just how many years with so much that has passed. I just wish that we had had more time with you to share all these things.

There are times when I struggle to hear your voice, like it has faded in to the caverns of my mind, only for it to come out at night and echo through my mind tunnels, to wake in the morning chasing it back down those very same tunnels, back in to the dark with the intermittent hollow, your odd word always shouting loudly back at me, like how you would say ‘milk’ in a rounded-lips, southerner accent instead of in your firm northern roots sound.

Your appearance will always remain as vivid as a hard, blue Scandinavian sky, even despite your photo on the corner table of the living room which I see every day I turn the light on. Even with the trend of the beard coming back in recent years, I would so easily spot yours in a crowd, your spade-like hands by your side, those pale freckles on forearms beneath uprolled shirt sleeves.

For the last six-and-a-half years where I have been living, I park the car at the Spanish border and walk in to Gibraltar to work every day. I like that walk, it is my mind’s time and I wouldn’t change it and drive all the way in. Especially when I skirt around the calm of gently rocking boats in the marina. Every day a thought of you creeps in and walks those boardwalks with me, like I know you would have enjoyed.

I still have a lot questions for you, I guess sometimes I learn to answer them for myself, some I can't and there are just some things that we all have to accept. There is a reknowned saying by Reinhold Niebuhr: "Give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know one from the other." I still ask myself every day though, if you would still have your beard and just how grey it would be. 

They say time heals. I'm not sure if it does really; it helps close the wound, yet scar tissue always remains. Hmm, not heal but help it does, Master Yoda would say. It seems unfair you were taken well before your time, that you didn’t grow grey and see the men you made of your three sons, that you aren’t there to look after our mum like you did so well for 31 years of marriage. Well Pops, we’re all doing fine thanks to the Granville foundations you steely laid, which continue to stand firm and resilient.

I know you wouldn’t moan though for what happened to you, I don’t ever remembering hearing you moan (well, apart from the those trying days you used to turn your head to the sky when three young boys tested your patience and you would say how you always wanted just one girl, that makes me laugh still to this day). And so I have chosen not to moan in my attempt to be at least half the man you were. I choose to celebrate and to tribute. There is nothing more I can add to that. I have wrote here most years so I will sign off from this and not write about you any more, there is no need to, your flag always flies high in the wind, an emblem in my mind. All the words I need, those that I have already written are right here below in these links. This post and these stories I have to tell about you will be bookmarks for me to always come back to and read, maybe one day to kids of my own, when they ask who the man with the beard is in the photo.   

A man for all seasons
All year round
My mind and his beard
Mine and his fifteen
An end has a start


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