Monday, 26 January 2015

We Never Truly Talked

This time last year turned out to be the beginning of the final chapter in my father's life. Around this time that final deterioration in health took place, after which it was emergency rooms and then nothing. People tend to remember their beloved's calendar date of death, but I don't care about such things; as far as I am concerned, this time last year was when the person I recognised as my father was taken away.

Recently, a friend of mine recommended I listen to the new album by Geva Alon, an Israeli singer.
Other than the fact it is in Hebrew, which means most of you reading this post will dismiss it by default, I cannot say it is a direct hit on my personal taste buds. It does seem to grow on me the more I listen to it, but you can judge for yourself:

As you can see (if you're not geoblocked), track #4 is called Abba, or - father - in Hebrew.
If I found the rest of the album more of a miss than a hit, this song is a direct point blank hit. The song has the singer recalling memories of his father: listening to exaggerated war heroism stories, rowing side by side on a boat. The memories are separated by the chorus, which repeats a single line - "we never truly talked".
And that, in one song, is a fine summary of the memories I have of my father. There were his stories of heroism, blatantly exaggerated as they were, and there were the occasional things we did together - like rowing a boat. But we never did truly talk to one another. By the time I was mature enough to seek a proper conversation we either had too much physical distance between us or simply never managed to find the right opportunity; you don't just spontaneously delve into deeply revealing conversations, not even with your father.
And the tragedy is that now he is dead, and while I long for such a conversation I know that I missed my chances, all of them. There will never be another opportunity for a proper conversation; the only thing I am left with for comfort is that 10-15 minute phone call I had with him, accounting the daily ritual of sending my own son to school, just before he lost his consciousness for the very last time.

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