Saturday, 18 March 2017
La Festa del papà, missing my dad
The 19th March is Fathers' Day in Italy, it is St. Joseph's day, the patron saint of fathers everywhere. It's on a Sunday this year, so many dads will be woken up with heart wrenching renderings of poems learned with love and repeated with adoration and devotion. We have a whole collection of wine bottles, cardboard ties, roughly modelled statues, drawings with big smiley mouths and no legs and are forever grateful to all the teachers that sent our children home with lovingly made objects, reciting poems that cause many a tear to fall.
For a long time I thought of this song by Bread as a love song for a lost romantic love, then one day I heard it on the radio as a dedication to a father who was no longer here. I had to stop the car as the tears flowed down my face, thinking of my own father. Now I always think of him when hearing this song.
Fathers used to have quite a different role to mothers. Many of my generation were told to 'wait till your father gets home.' So poor old dad would come in the door expecting a warm greeting only to find us cowering behind the armchair in fear and trepidation.
My cousins were afraid of my dad, they said he was 'big and boomy'. Looking back I can see now that his anger was of a protective kind, the anger a mother would feel if a child let go of her hand and ran into the road.
Growing up it was quite useful to be able to say, 'my dad won't let me', if I was asked to do something I wasn't sure about.
Once a friend of mine said to me, 'we all wish we could have a dad like yours'.
Thank you dad, for loving me.