He never truly believed that the end could be coming. It wasn’t ignorance it was survivalism. He couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving them, of leaving her, of leaving his baby.
When they told him the end was inevitable it was like he threw himself into the challenge of teaching her his golden haired girl as much as possible about him, about life as he knew it, to give her as many memories as he could….a lifetimes worth.
The school of life according to him started with a trip to Botany Bay one day on the way to pick up Mum from work. He bought them fried rice and he told her about how Australia was discovered, this is where Australian history started he told her. She remembers the place where they sat, she remembers this as the moment that sparked her love for all things history, she remembers the rubbery undercooked fried rice.
The school of life stressed the importance of sport but especially that Rugby League isn’t just a sport it’s a way of life and State of Origin may as well have been the golden chalice. He teaches her how to heckle the players, the Queensland players of course cause the New South Wales ones are just being rorted. She soaks up this time with him, it’s special and the only time when you can be encouraged to yell in their home.
The school of life showed her that every car trip required suitable music and that when it came to music his views were simple. Good Music was good music and crappy music was crappy music. But when it came to radio stations there was only one…. 2WS that’s my station.
The school of life encouraged hard work and learning and doing anything it took to take care of your family. He taught her that a real man does whatever he can to ensure his family is provided for including working 6 days a week while you’re undertaking chemotherapy. The golden haired girl learns that you take illness in your stride that you make jokes about it but you never hide away from it, you own your reality even if it means denying that death is likely.
The school of life taught that Hollywood is King. He showed her movies that probably weren’t age appropriate, she realises most 8 year olds have never seen the Godfather let alone know how to critique it and understand it but he knows she can handle this, she’s his, she’s him in this way. Films will always appeal to her she absorbs them and the knowledge surrounding them. She critiques them, can list endless trivia surrounding them. They are her passion, he ignited her passion, he gave her the gift of cinema.
The school of life slowed down and was conducted as quiet time. This was a lesson in itself. The body needs time to rest and what parent wouldn’t hold their child close when they knew their cuddles were limited. As an adult she realises that this is the greatest lesson of them all. Take nothing for granted. Hold those you love close to you.Love your family so much that they always feel that love.
He knew change was coming for her. The biggest change of them all. But he didn’t want her facing this change unprepared. He had armoured her with love.
Linking up with the beautiful Josefa for Conversations Over Coffee- Conversations with Change