However, by the time I was the age he was when he first met me I had gotten over the hope of ever hearing from him again. Then out of nowhere he drops me a line on Facebook describing how he ‘missed his boys’ and how he was sorry he had ‘nothing to show for his life.’ Over a week in June 2012 we chatted back and forth. After all the ‘dad’ and ‘son’ stuff I decided to lay down some ground rules: I got that maybe this wasn’t all of his making — sure, I don’t know — but I have a dad. My dad, who I have never known as a ‘stepdad,’ raised me.
At twenty-seven years of age, Seán was a broken man. The trauma of what he witnessed and the effects of his near drowning caused him a severe emotional and psychic collapse, the ripples of which washed up against him – sometimes pulling him back under – for the rest of his life. His bi-polar disorder produced a curious older man; someone who would laugh with all the joy of life and sink into the bleakest recesses of the valley of the shadow of death – sometimes in the same day.
After a while I decided to tell him who I was. Without missing a step in his Wellington boots or looking round, he said only “Ah ken that.” This was an unexpected response that forced me to look back hard to see if I could ever remember meeting an older me. I couldn’t.
Follow @UrFhasaidh Over the past couple of weeks I have felt like a dog chasing its tail; round and round trying to get a hold on all the things that went up in the air the moment I left for Belgium. There are times when I like to think that I am organised, and I … Continue reading Having at Last Caught my Tail
Follow @UrFhasaidh As a child growing up in the 80s, other than trying to break my Rubik’s Cube, I can remember the t-shirts all the cooler older kids were wearing. We didn’t see too many black people in my hometown in the west of Scotland. There were a handful of Chinese families and a few … Continue reading Remembering the Tenth of May