2011 - A Rite Of Passage
2011 – A Rite Of Passage
Why do I see 2011 as particularly important and call it (for me at least) a rite of passage? Well, most that follow my writing will have realised that I write with my emotions clearly in view. In this year my daughter Alexandra was married and the 11th of September was my rite of passage and she the focus.
Back in good old 1986 she was born after a spring thunderstorm, with the sun giving it’s blessing to her as she emerged. She was in a rush as she didn’t even wait for her cue. Arriving in the First Stage Room at Greenbank Maternity Home, Darlington and her face bore the look of five rounds with Mike Tyson.
I cradled her for the first twenty minutes of her life and it was a bond that was not exactly broken as much as slackened on the 12th of September 2011. I could not hide my emotions from her, nor would I have wanted to. She grew up with a sense of love and care for others that made Mother Theresa look like Attila The Hun.
Her school years were pretty standard. She accepted her dyslexia as a positive and thrived socially at school as well as academically. I went through what I call ‘The dad radar blackout’ from about her 12th year until around 17 when we became best friends as well as father and daughter.
We share many character traits; including impatience, but it was our like-minded sense of humour that took us so close. She got me into am-dram and had the privilege of slapping me across the face nightly in character during The Taming Of The Shrew.
However, princesses grow up and she met the handsomest and kind hearted of princes. I knew the chick would grow wings and fly away one day, but I don’t think it is possible to prepare for it until it hits you. The wedding was beautiful and I was the proudest dad on the planet that day, but in the afternoon of the following I crept up stairs and cried my eyes out on the bed. When I say cried I mean it. Uncontrollable sobbing for a good twenty minutes. I thought the pain would never go, but it did and quickly. The realisation and finality of that rite of passage for me just had to be.
Like the sunshine that followed the thunderstorm at her birth, the tears of the day after her wedding were lit up by a dazzling bond that will only be broken by mortality.
So I have a lost a daughter and gained a friend; as well as the proverbial bathroom.