Gone! Gone for 13 years! It seems like forever I last saw my father in hospital, one hour after he died. His soft skin, wispy hair, thin frame eaten up by the cancer. His calm face, almost smiling. Even then you could still see the little boy in him. The little rascal. With this sunny face, broad smile. And always up to joking around. No matter our ages. He always had my back. I miss him so incredibly much. I miss not being able to talk to him, joke with him, getting his advice. I miss sitting on the carpet in front of the couch in his little study, watching TV together. I miss discussing all kinds of things with him, his advice, I miss his humour and occasional silliness. I miss the hugs. I miss being a child, a daughter. I miss his home improvement skills, not having to worry who would install my new lamp or book shelf. I miss the feeling of just calling my parents, knowing they are there. I miss the feeling of having a home to return to no matter what.

Sometimes I get so incredibly envious of others who still have their loved ones. Who meet up for Sunday dinner at home, being spoilt as parents and grandparents tend to do with their children and grandchildren no matter what age. And I miss all this so very much. Knowing, that in the end I’m completely alone here in Germany.

This year I will be in Austria for his death anniversary. Unfortunately, not in Carinthia, where my parents’ urns are buried, but in Styria. But they won’t mind if I light candles at their parents’ graves instead, not to forget our beloved Aunt Do. I always go there, when I’m back. And it’s another reason I want to return home as soon as possible. To be able to go there more often. Be closer to them all, even though they all are constantly in my thoughts and especially in my dreams. Seeing them again, healthy, being able to talk to them, laugh with them, hug them.

I know I’m still lucky to have so many wonderful memories of my parents. And the more time passes, the more the beautiful memories prevail and the bad ones during their sickness vanish. They suffered so much, both of them. It was difficult to watch and sometimes one didn’t know what to do, how to help. The daily calls were an ordeal as much as a lovely habit. Dreading whether there was bad news again, happy, when everything was the same or a bit better.

When I think of him I always see him smiling. I think of everyday life as a child, when he came home from work – in those days suit and tie were mandatory – or when I picked him up from work. I see Mum and me waiting at the kitchen window, looking down from the 8th floor to watch out for him returning from one of his business trips. I remember working on photo albums or his stamp collection on the living room dining table. I remember our weekend apartment in the mountains where we had to collect wood and chop it up, with BBQs all the time and the place where my first mouse Speedy was interred in the woods. In a Zauner Stollen wood box. (And I guess I would still find the place!) I remember vacations, the trips to Styria or Vienna. I remember the many dinner and playtime invitations from my dad’s colleagues and families, and the many dinners we gave at home in return. I remember my student years when my Dad used to stay at my place and my Mum with my aunt and uncle due to too little space. I remember attending the ceramics graduate colloquium together, me as the student, him as the graduate, meeting our small ceramics community and feeling home amongst them. I remember his love for classical music – Mozart, Beethoven, Smetana, Schubert, Bach, … – but he absolutely disliked Wagner. I remember listening to operetta at home and still have the vinyl records, which I occasionally listen to. I remember … I remember so much. And I need to remember. I need to think of them! I must not forget! And maybe I should start writing it all down for real – even though after me there won’t be anyone interested in my scribblings. But who knows?

13 years, such a long time and still … the grief and pain is still here. And always will be.


12 thoughts on “13 YEARS

  1. What a lovely tribute for a beloved father. Another thing we have in common… a love for our dad, gone too soon. Mine was 9 years ago in May. I still pick up the phone, wanting to ask him something or give him news. Mine, too, was always smiling, even as he was going through treatments for cancer. He could build anything and was such a joker. Sigh…
    Have a lovely day. Hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Our dads are always with us, even though not physically. We actually had a bit of a rainy day but I was meeting my aunts and my sister for lunch and spent the evening with dear friends here in Austria! Have a great Sunday!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, beautiful photos and what a memory. It is sad to part with loved ones. Yes, he is always with you and he will always look after you even if he’s in another world. I am just curious that you have kept cats as well as mice as pets? That’s really interesting. I mean how fast is Speedy? Can he or she outrun a cat? I sometimes wonder if one can keep both a cat and mouse as pets. I mean the cat might feast itself on …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely words!!! I think my cat would have loved Speedy to pieces … and then sadly either devoured or just killed him. I had Speedy in my early teens, the only pet my dad would allow, even though he did love animals. But he also knew what a great responsibility a dog or cat would have been. We would have needed someone to look after it when we went on vacations. Speedy was very easy to care for for a few days. My cat has only been with me for two and a half years and he is my real own pet, since the cat I had with my ex basically belonged to him. 😺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha, yes, love it to pieces. What a beautiful and quirky phrase. I heard that mice are delicious, which probably means I am going to be a cat for my next life and am drooling over my future meals. So true that pets are great responsibilities. It really shows your dad’s sagacity in not taking on too much responsibility that he cannot handle. That’s really wisdom.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! His family had a dog and since he was the middle child it was mostly him in his young adult years who had to watch it 🤣. With mum and me he enjoyed going on short trips and vacations, also spontaneously … but we all enjoyed the animals from our relatives

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