Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

father's day

Father's Day has come and gone with a large dose of stiff upper lip on my part. Well almost, I'll admit to two good crys. On the day itself we had a 70th birthday to celebrate on my partners side of the family. They had chosen for the party, the village where we had my Fathers wake, in a restaurant full of families celebrating Father's Day, splendid. You had to laugh.
I took Dad with me, what has now become my 'Dad in a box'.
No its not my Fathers ashes, I didn't put him beside me on the table, as in the hilarious episode of 'The Royal Family - Joe's Crackers' where Joe takes Mary's ashes round to dinner at Jim and Barbra's and they get knocked off the dining table and hoovered up with the new Dyson (Dad would have laughed till he cried at that)
No, its a box that my Father kept beside his bed, a tiny box that he made as a young man, a treasured possession of his and now mine. My daughter went through a magpie faze when she was little and i found the box in her room one day, she had obviously brought it back from an overnight stay at Nan and Grandad's house. I didn't tell her off, not this time, I just put the box inside my treasure box and now I treasure it very much indeed. Inside it there are 3 folded up photographs that obviously meant a great deal to my Dad, one of which is of him before his disease, the face I remember as a little girl. Sometimes it makes me smile, sometimes it breaks my heart, usually its both.
So there I was, a girl without a Father on Father's Day for the first time. It was an odd feeling and odder still that no-one mentioned it, no-one asked, phoned or texted to see if i was ok about it. Except one person, my daughter, who had tried without success to engage with her Father that day. Another girl without a Father on Father's day.
I have always taken the road of trying to make light of his lack of interest in his children since the divorce, along the lines of "daddy loves you very much, hes just not a parenty type person that's all" but I suddenly realised that we now had a common bond, my daughter and I, that I had never appreciated before, different perspectives but the same pain. Something good came out of the day after all, I'll make more of the day next year, me and her together for the both of us.

photograph taken in my garden, it reminds me of a funny story Dad would tell about snails, me and a dead cat but thats another story........


  1. I find this interesting: 'I have always taken the road of trying to make light of his lack of interest in his children since the divorce, along the lines of "daddy loves you very much, hes just not a parenty type person that's all" ' I notice how often we make excuses for the actions of others rather than voice what we probably really feel about what they do or how they are, sometimes to try and make others feel better or protect them, but quite often, I think, to make ourselves feel better rather than face up to the fact that and admit they being crap! I love the thought of you taking the day in your own hands next year and doing something for you and your daughter on fathers day :) Here's a belated virtual hug for the day gone by this year (>'')> and stuff all of those who didn't take the time to see how you were feeling on such a poignant day!

  2. Hi Yeti, yes its a tricky one but in his case its not an excuse its the fact,he doesn't want to be a parent, hes openly said so.Hes been given every opertunity and he choses not to. The fact that hes not met their emotional needs is something about which the children are under no illusions how my partner and I feel. He doesn't figure in their everyday lives and hasn't since they were small, they turn to their step-father, who highlights their own fathers shortcomings without even having to say a word! Thank you for the hug!!

  3. You have my sympathy, Helen. I've been without my dad for a long time - since I was 21 - and don't give it much thought these days. But I've started reading more blogs this year and all the people out there celebrating what their dads mean to them is making me remember, and making me miss him all over again. It must be really tough for you, having lost yours so recently.

    I'm sad for your daughter, because having a great dad is a wonderful thing. But it sounds like she's got a great mum, and that counts for at least as much.