Updated: Apr 10, 2020
I wish that I could crochet. This beautiful girl is wearing and holding something crocheted by her dad. Isn't that somehow perfect? I once knitted a scarf as long as the room, at my granny's in Aberdeen. I think we all three might have. It was in red and white, the colours of the Dons... I think we might even have worn the scarves while singing 'We are the Dons, from Aberdeen, and we're the finest there's ever been,' during that momentous highlight in 1983. I knitted a multi-coloured square five years ago, with big beginner needles. But nothing more.
Crocheting aside, I have no words. I knew this was going to be a difficult piece to write. I knew when writing the last post what the outcome already was. I hoped that TIME and some carefully considered e-mails would help change minds.
A wise friend gave me some advice about writing without wanting to hurt people. The context was different but the advice was as follows: write anyway. Write as if the people involved are not ever going to read it. Then sit on it. During the messages, quite a few people got very hurt. Emails went back and forward. Group messages were set up, so nobody could feel left out. Blunt things were said. In the end we are still not entirely sure who read what, as some people share passwords. This is unfair to Dad's wife, but we all rather desperately hope that she wrote them, that that was not Dad talking.
I took the advice and I wrote it all down, but I didn't want to sit on it. I thought if I could maybe take out the unkind things and the upsetting things then I could strip it back to just the essence of it. But the essence of it IS unkind and it IS upsetting. And therefore, really, I have no words.
I did, however, write a crappy chorus of a song to cheer up Shairen and Mike. It included some of Nick's words and some of Mike's (angry) words. Mike hasn't written to Dad in twenty years, but he did send the comment 'That comment really made my piss boil' to one of Dad's replies to my two pleas for him to contact Nick, and, at the very least, to personally give Nick the message that he did not want contact. It was thanks to Shairen that the two lots of words somehow got amalgamated. I videoed the chorus and sent it at the end of a couple of weeks of group messaging. It was well timed - shit, but funny if you were there, and with a catchy chorus that keeps you singing it (I need to use that tune in a better song).
My brother, Nick, is not to get a chance to know his father. His beautiful girl is not to know her grandfather. Shairen and Michael and I are sad about that. Disillusioned. And angry.
I wish that I could crochet. I would take my hook and make my loops, interlocking them into a happier, kinder narrative.