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photo of HMS Manxman

My late father passed in 2015 aged 89. He was a veteran of the Royal Navy and, while in the New Zealand Navy, he spent time in the South Pacific. He was a proud Manxman and a damned fine bloke.

He contracted polio and TB in his war years and never even knew, until years later. I do remember him always having one smaller calf muscle than another and didn’t understand why. It must have been his brush with polio.

But he never complained. Not once. After all, he was a Real man, not a modern soyboy with limited tolerance to Reality. 

He never smoked – nor drank -  preferring to trade his ration for cash. My father was a young man when he entered the SERVICE to his country and following the end of the War, he found himself in the far off realm of downunder - where he met my Mum.

He wooed my Mum , who you guys know as poster “ Redhead “,  fell in love and decided to stay in New Zealand and make a life in the Antipodes.

Here was this young Manxman - whose English was a bit foreign to the average Kiwi -  who adjusted and learned how to speak without the accent that he had from birth -  in order to work and fit in. Which he did, most successfully. Apparently, his accent was too soft and lilting to be understood over the telephone when he was performing his duties at work – but that same lilting voice is cherished by all of his family when he sings and croons on our treasured recordings of him singing. His voice was and is part of him.

 

My Dad was a child of the Depression. He knew hunger, hardship, hard knocks and horror. He would follow a coal train and pick up the coal that fell off. (often thrown to the kids by the blokes on the train.) In those days, people looked after their own.

He would gather fagots of wood from the wooded areas around his home town of Douglas and he felt pride when presenting his Mum with some fuel for the fire.

When my Dad was passing, he spoke about scrumping apples. Stealing a few apples from a tree and running home with his bounty. I can still see him there, in his hospital bed, smiling and gazing off into his past and seeing that young naughty lad stealing some fruit ... he was smiling and laughing as he recollected those early childhood memories.

sean

It seemed strange to me, on reflection, that his passing memories were not about his life on the beach in Queensland, or about his years in New Zealand... but about his life as a child.

My Dad returned to his early childhood, his roots, his fundamental beginning.

In his final days and hours he never spoke about Politics, TB, Polio, sexual discrimination,. gay rights, black rights, equal opportunity or anything like that.

He talked about his childhood.

What he saw as he left this earth to migrate to another was not social justice; not concern about disease or global warming... no. It was a childhood memory of stealing apples from a farmer's tree 80 years before.

When faced with the end of their lives, I wonder what thoughts will be in the minds of those who have let their Nations down, their families down, themselves down?

Will they bask in the glory of having signed a Bill to mass murder millions of little babies by abortion, conspired to overthrow decency and Justice? Will they lie back, smiling and look to a memory of having left a shitload of money in the bank, flash houses and a collection of expensive motor cars?

 190822 barack michelle obama marthas vineyard 52

Will the Social Justice Warriors lie back and lovingly smile as they remember the time that they spat on a cop’s take out dinner or they posted a video on facebook as they prepared for an abortion?

I wonder: what memory will they choose to grasp hold of as they exit this world and prepare to enter the next?

With much of what they have done, said and supported, I do have to wonder if, when in the elevator to the next world, they will be given an option of up or down?

At least my Dad brought an apple for our Teacher.

 

 

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