Our Oscar once said that, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
Perhaps it’s inevitable rather than tragic that many men, including myself, become more like their fathers with each passing year. Most often, I can see this in small ways. This week I find myself thinking ahead to my holidays which start on Saturday. I hope to spend ten peaceful days in the South of France with my wife and our children, but more likely it will be a mixture of sun, sea, sand and chaos.
I was winding down a little at work and in a quiet moment I told a friend that I was feeling ‘demob happy’. I was only when he stared blankly back at me that I realized that I was repeating an old fashioned phrase that my father had often used. We become what we see and hear around us.
In honesty, this realisation gives me comfort because my father was a good man. Like me he was sometimes unsure of himself, but he also cared a great deal about those around him.
Although he’s long gone now, I think he’d appreciate how I’m battling to get back on the road. I don’t think he ran a step in his life, at least not in the way I like to, but I think he had a runner’s heart.
Onwards through the fog, slowly and with a limp.