Friday, January 10, 2014

Family duties

It’s a New Year and in a few months time it will be my 50th. Yet I am not sure what will have changed by the time I reach that particular milestone. Too much time on my own to think, perhaps. For when I am not writing about the Gulf from the vantage point of Walthamstow, I am wondering what the point of any of it is. The book will provide something different for those who are so inclined. In the context of recent family events, and an inability to believe the future will be profoundly different, my enthusiasm sometimes wanes. If I don’t have a runner in the Mid-East race, and if I don’t feel a desperate desire or ability to reveal some hitherto unrevealed truth about it, then it is perhaps unsurprising if I am not always totally fired-up about my professional duties.  


Aside from that, the great escape (to where?) has been indefinitely postponed. I am childless, yet tied to family. Without family, yet performing family duties. What a strange state to be in. My mother died 15 months ago and I am still waiting for the headstone. Without parents I have no one to cry to. As a child I cried to my parents. As an adolescent I needed to cry to someone else about my parents… I found Jesus. As a young man I turned away from fathers, holy and unholy. As a middle aged man my parents began to need me to cry to…about themselves, about each other. In the last five years I have buried them both. I may never see my brother again. I am happily married to the woman who has been my closest friend for more than two decades. I am lucky. This is narcissistic, attention-seeking, nonsense.  

4 comments:

Vanessa Grove said...

This is narcissistic, attention-seeking, nonsense. Man up woman! xxx

Your Wife said...

I want a divorce

Silvana Gambini said...

Not at all "narcissistic, attention-seeking, nonsense", Neil, but a very moving blog post indeed. You've had a hard time of it in the past year and a half, so it's no wonder you need to mull it over and try to make sense of things. We've had some similar life experiences and when it comes to family duties and becoming an orphan these are hard to deal with whatever your age. And by the way children don't define a family; a shared love and respect defines it. Valerie is your family as Pete is mine. Sx

Neil Partrick said...

Many thanks for writing all this Silvana. It is much appreciated. You are right of course about families not requiring children. The more robust not to say expressive responses of val and nessa are also worth me bearing in mind