Monday, February 25, 2008

Thanks Frank and Good luck in all.

Uncle Frank passed away. I last saw him in June 2006, crikey, that long already? He was still smoking, ..... I think. He had been off the drink since I was a kid. His family struck me as the archetypal, stereotypical, American, Fighting Irish. Nothing at all like us who actually lived there. Mike his son recounted how he used to beat the crap out of his brother and vice versa. I guess with the whole Family in AA there was some issues they had to work through. They were more than good guys though.
Before that I had last seen Frank in good health in Philly when I was 16, then in Ireland when I was 12, 10, 8, and God knows when before that. He lived on credit. He was I guess a bit of a good time Charlie, meaning he liked the good things in life. Married, divorced, lost his second wife to cancer, Frank always had what I called a wry smile on his face, a great sense of humour...he was a small guy, at the end anyway. Most of lung missing, A lot of weight gone, still the same wry smile. Back in Ireland for a Family reunion organised by his son. We had a grand old time. I can't tell you a lot about him. I guess he was a ladies man, a golfer, a smart guy, he took delight in our singing, backed us up against our mother who had her own issues.... even when he was in his own words, mighty pissed, ( angry or annoyed not drunk) he could still throw out a smile pretty quick. I loved the way he looked at me. He made me feel seen. He made me feel adult when I was just a kid, accepted, listened to and respected. I shaved him that last summer. His hands shook too much, his son had father son male issues, I get them completely.... I shaved him in our kitchen. I was afraid of cutting him, but I took great pleasure in servicing this gentleman. I know he appreciated it even though it wasn't perfect. He rubbed his hand around his jaw the way we men do,he looked at me that way, threw out the wry smile, thanked me and shuffled outside for a smoke.
I know you are there watching me, and watching your own. Maybe I am one of yours too as you are one of mine......I miss you Frank.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


When you get up and look around you at the world you live in, know that today, white ruling people somewhere in the world, have finally taken responsibility for the crap they have dumped on others for generations. This report is from children who were stolen from their families and placed into families of strangers under a policy of assimilation. My particular brand of Irishness would hanker for the same thing from the British Government, that the indigenous Austrailians have just got from the Government there.
Wouldn't it be great if more governments stood up to their inherited moral responsibilites. It's one of my pet hates when people tell me you can't blame me for the actions of my grandfather. I reply, that perhaps they are right, but if so, how come you enjoy the benefits of his actions today then? Go read it, it might help you to look outside yourself a little. Hugs and kisses.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Being a Father

I got a text (sms) off my ex the other day telling me my son is going away on Sunday for a week. I am to pick him next Saturday afternoon and bring him back on Sunday. No questions were asked. It was just information that is all. Normally when he is with me it is Friday night to Monday morning. In that time I get to be a father, a friend, a confident, a playment, a discipliner, an educator, a hugger, a punch ball and a stuffed toy. There is no time for any thing else. I am followed everywhere as If I am about to dissappear in a puff of smoke. I asked him directly if he would like a week with me and a week with his mam. His answer was a big YES.
He is a good boy, he struggles with his English, he struggles with concentration, he is very untidy and falls over a lot because he goes to bed to late so he is constantly tired. Sometimes when we get him, he is falling asleep in his dinner at 8pm. I mean that literally.
This week the lawyer rang, my ex doesn't want to agree to alternate weeks. So I am being offered a Wednesday plus weekends. I didn't think about that offer, I said no straight out. The Lawyer was disappointed. Now it will be a long drawn out battle. I need to explain some things to him. I didn't leave my home and family and friends and future, to live in a foreign country and see my boy for 2 or 3 days out of every 15. In the last month I have seen him one weekend, because as we try the every second weekend thing, his mother still suits herself and chops and changes her mind.
I am Irish and so is my son, by birth, and legally. We live in France. I could if I wanted just take him back, there is legal precident already in France for that, but I won't bring him back to Ireland. I wouldn't do that to him. It would not be being a good father. I could insist on turning the tables completely, I keep him all the time and his mother have him every second weekend. How far do you think I would get with that? ..I could even propose very long weekends like from Thursday night to Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Again I am inhibited because my mind doesn't think quickly enough in French and before I can think of any of the the lawyer is gone. I can't get in touch with him, as I don't have his number. Imagine that! I can ring his office only.
Yesterday I tried to get to talk to my boy, I rang his house, no answer. I sms his mother as we don't converse, she didn't reply. I rang his nounou, which is the childminder, he was shy speaking english in front of her and her family so we agreed to talk today. The land line doesn't answer, his mothers phone doesn't answer. I sent more sms, finally get an answer telling me to ring her mobile. I do, it's engaged.
Finally I get through, I get a hello how are you and the line goes dead.
It is hard being a Father when you never get to talk to or see your son. I wonder how bad I made things for my father by not ringing in the past...I am not blaming my nearly 8 year old boy don't worry. I am just thinking about my own father. ...Do you talk to your Dad? Do you tell him how happy you are he was there, or how angry you are that he was usless as a Dad? I hope my son knows when he is an adult that if it all goes wrong, I am doing as much as I can, short of storming up to his mothers house and forcing him out there, to be there for him, to show him I love him, to give him a future...Pity his mother can't see that.

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