Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Halcyon moments

We seem to have have shared a few halcyon moments recently. Halcyon is described variously as A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice. Calm and peaceful; tranquil. Prosperous; golden.

Dad & I finally managed to catch a glimpse of an elusive kingfisher while out recently walking our doggy along the river. We are so lucky to still be able to share such moments.

Of late my Dad has been struggling his knees have been playing up but worst of all he has been going deaf & had started to become very withdrawn. He had given up wearing his hearing aid & could no longer hear family conversations as well as the early morning bird song. I wished there was something I could do to lift his spirits.

I decided to take him back to the hospital where he had previously visited the audiologists department & been very upset with the lack of care he had received. Unfortunately they had only just moved to a new department & the place had been chaotic. This time they were great & could not be more helpful. A new hypoallergenic hearing aid should be arriving any day soon. He was so happy when he left.

As we walked back to the car arm in arm he felt so relaxed & at ease. I felt quite emotional as I became aware we were actually walking right by the department of Psychiatry I had first visited back in 1992 regarding my gender issues. I had a tear in my eye as I told him “I never dared dream when I had gone there; that some18 years later, we would be walking together as Father & daughter”. My beloved Dad replied “Debbie my dear, way back then I never even knew I had a daughter!” He is a Dad in a million, my hero & means the world to me. My thoughts go out to those who have lost their beloved Dads as the poignant time of Fathers day takes place this coming Sunday in the UK.

A few days later I received the shock news I had been given an award for my volunteer work with the National Health Service at a civic ceremony. I have only been volunteering for 18 months. The volunteer scheme has had such a positive impact on my life.

In my darkest times when I realised I needed to make major changes to my life that my loved ones so apposed I doubted I would ever make them feel proud of me again. We had been through so much together. This award was for us & it meant so much to have them accompany me to the ceremony. I still suffer from anxiety & the butterflies were in full flight come the morning of the awards. We got there, my Dads knees held out, I beat my nerves & Mum put up with us both!

There were some extraordinary volunteers present who were all great assets to the city for their various charities. Many of them had given their time freely for many years to help others, often mentoring those with similar conditions or circumstances to their own. I felt so humble to be there. It was very moving to hear their individual stories. My challenge was to overcome my anxiety & shyness, my underlying story rightly remained private between myself & my parents & of no consequence during my time working as a volunteer. The awards were presented by the newly appointed Mayor. I had been so nervous about meeting her yet I need not have worried she was quite nervous too but kindly made me feel at ease as the speaker read out my award. My Mum & Dad looked on from the audience. I so wanted them to share the moment with me. It was a joy to see their faces when they got to meet her afterwards.

It was a very friendly occasion & Mum & Dad thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour of the mayors parlor & offices. I smiled at what seemed the rather austere masculine appearance of the mayors very formal parlor which contrasted with the decor of the gentler more feminine office which had been decorated to the taste of the new mayor s. During the Second world war the German bombers had used the guildhall & its tower as a guide. It was a landmark they tried to avoid bombing. My parents got to see the area where a stray incendiary bomb had hit the building during the war, which bought back memories of the poor children killed in an air raid near by who had hidden in the basement of an adjoining art gallery. My parents were blessed to survive the war & been through so much together. Having to cope with an unexpected daughter like me was in the grand scheme of things quite a modest challenge in hindsight. We are a very private ordinary little family & this occasion was not something we had ever expected to attend. There are far more deserving hero’s & heroines, inspirational people who rightly received awards. Brave courageous people make a choice, we did not chose the path we as a family had to take but this was a truly Golden day, A halcyon Day we never dreamed could ever happen.

Wishing you calm and tranquil; prosperous golden days & peaceful lives
Happy Fathers day this weekend