Conversations With My Father
I have a confession to make. For most of my life (since I could write anyway) I 've had a compulsive habit of noting things down secretly; conversations, things I 've overheard, arguments between family and friends, basically anything that amused me in some way or where the exchange attracted my attention. Back in early 2013 my father was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer, he passed away by the end of that year. He was a massive influence on my life and after about a year or so of sifting through my 1000’s of notes (in-so-very-many-formats…yawn) I managed to build a collection of some of the best snippets I have kept record of.
When nervously asked if I looked good enough for an interview with a high-end Mayfair Property Company back in 2012 -
An ugly girl will make the most expensive things look cheap.
But a pretty girl can make the cheapest things look expensive.
When discussing how wonderful the nature of a dog is compared to a humans in 2011 -
We should all aspire
To be more like dogs.
But most of us will
Just become little bitches.
Aged just 16 and asking my father about what true love is -
When you find the right person you will not be tied down and bound to them.
You will simply choose to stand still beside them without any ties.
My fathers response to why he didn’t resent my mother for leaving him -
If you really love them,
You will put their happiness above your attachment to them.
A discussion about attachment and relationships after my first proper one ended at 21 -
True love nurtures the flower and walks away.
Attachment picks it and takes it home to die in a vase.
Aged 17 a conversation about why my father disliked buying flowers -
Please don't buy me flowers.
They are a symbol of all that is wrong with this worlds perception of love.
My reply - So shall I buy you a plant instead?
My father - Yes, exactly (laughs)
After a huge fight with my sister aged 22 I declared my dramatic ‘rejection’ of her as family to my father, his reply -
I understand your anger.
But let your integrity be
stronger than blood.
Integrity is not to be subjective, especially in this manner.
When I said I didn’t have enough time to get my business ideas started and do everything I wanted to do with my life -
There is no lack of time, there is only ever a lack of will.
Because when people really want, the dusk becomes dawn, Tuesday becomes Saturday, and a moment becomes an opportunity.
When I asked about what I was like as a baby (the hilarity of this will be obvious to anyone who has ever been lucky enough to have met me in person) -
You were the quietest child I have ever known,
I really don’t know what happened (laughs…a little too much).
Response to me asking if he ever wanted to be rich -
I’m rich in the ways I value.
I’m not a money chaser/maker,
I'm a happiness chaser/maker and that suits me fine.
Something my father said one day when giving one of his lectures about the purpose of dreams and the subconscious mind -
Funny how our best dreams and worst nightmares tend to feature the same people.
Aged 13 when I asked my father why he sacrificed paid jobs to spend time with me and my siblings on the weekends -
Jobs and money are replaceable.
People are not.
When having a breakdown about my life with my father aged 17 -
We cannot find balance,
If we continue to battle with the past.
The future will happen either way.
When I sought advise in my late teens on a certain ex Facebook hacking situation and was schooled on the downfalls of ‘virtual’ eavesdropping -
It is true that what we don't know can not hurt us.
But what they don't warn you is what you find out can destroy you.
Me aged 18 complaining about living in London -
Me - But I don't want to make a life here!
My father - Ah, but life happens wherever you are, whether you ‘make it’ or not.
Just keep living it and don’t waste time. You're living it as we speak.
Me aged 18 talking with my father about what defines wasting time -
Wasting time is a matter of opinion.
Never let anyone else tell you what is a waste of your time.
So long as you are enjoying what you are doing,
And you feel it is either constructive or pure pleasure in balance with your work,
Then you are not wasting time.
A joke my father made about freedom when I asked if it is lonely -
Freedom can be lonely. If you want it to be, that is the nature of freedom after all.
A conversation we had back in 2012 about religion and morals -
If you conduct a dishonest life no number of confessions or solemn swears will change that in my opinion. One should strive to be solemn in all he does.
A discussion about a friend I had from a very rich family who lived under the exceptionally strict rulings of their parents -
You can have the nicest furnishings,
Plush fancy items with the finest decoration and finishes.
But a prison is still a prison.
No comfort is worth your freedom,
And no greater comfort or discomfort is felt than true freedom itself.
A comment made in response to me saying I felt like I was dealing with everything on my own and I couldn’t cope -
There are some things we must do alone.
But life is not one of them.
A warning from my father when I became a bit of a ‘money chaser’ aged 22 -
When chasing money remember this;
The afterlife doesn't have a currency based on finances,
But it just might have one based on what we have done.
My fathers reply when I said I didn’t have enough time with him back in 2013 -
Time is granted either way,
Even if tomorrow is not.
It's what we do with it that counts.
He passed away 3 months later.
A conversation I had about missing someone with my father back in 2010 -
Me - But I miss [ _ ] so much, and I feel like I'm not allowed to tell them how I feel.
My father - We are always allowed to say how we feel.
Whether or not we have the chance to is sadly a different story.
My father talking about the glory and pitfalls of his 20’s -
I felt like the man that karma forgot.
I was indestructible.
A conversation in 2012 on my confusion as to why I had pissed someone off -
Never go reminding
A man of his failings,
Trust me he will not
Have forgotten them.
My fathers response to my brother rambling on about how we are most likely being watched by aliens as a planet -
Then go give them something worth watching!
My father when I asked why he wasn’t afraid of the dark -
I have always thought people should be afraid of me in the dark instead.
One of my fathers humorous stances on war and humanity -
I think the only time humanity will finally unite is if we are attacked by aliens.
My father when arguing with a friend about God and religion -
You say you’re not religious, but I bet I could make you pray for your life.
When I showed my father my first tattoo
(a blue rose with the word ‘Hope’ below) -
Hope is the emotion of a desperate man.
Instead have faith in what you do, and grace for all that happens.
I later got both ‘Faith’ and ‘Grace’ tattooed on my ankles.
Aged around 13 years old and explaining to my father that I ‘couldn’t’ do Maths and wanted to only do English and Art as subjects in school -
Oh, but Art and Maths are closer friends than you might realise…
When asked why he went down such a ‘bad’ path in his earlier youth -
Never forget, the road to hell can be deceptively beautiful.
Some of my fathers plentiful business advice -
In business never underestimate two things;
Firstly, how much people are prepared to pay for convenience.
Secondly, how much people will pay for all things related to sex.
When I said I felt reliant on other people to feel happy -
Never look to other people for these things;
Respect, love, money and motivation.
Always ask yourself first, then enquire for extra if need be.
Following a dramatic ‘meltdown’ I had over a fight between my High School friend group -
My father - Seriously, act your age for once.
Me - How am I not acting my age? I am only 15!
My father - Exactly, you’re 15. Stop taking things so seriously.
My fathers comeback to me saying I was right about something I was actually very wrong about -
Never fail to examine a situation from both sides of the looking glass Alice.
An exchange of words between my father and brother over internet use -
My father - What are you Googling?
My brother - The cheat codes for GTA.
My father - Google truly is wasted on your generation.
A comment my father made when watching a documentary with me about string theory -
Existence is far more complicated than just life and death.
It does not simply begin or end.
It’s far spookier than that.
My fathers reply to what I should do with my career back in 2013 -
Whatever you do,
Just own it.
I hope you enjoyed reading these memories as much as I do. Perhaps they can give you a small glimpse into the wonderful and zealous man that was my father. So, what do you want to be remembered for saying when you're gone?
© 2016 Kat Liberty