When I was the astrologer at the Sunday Express magazine, they asked some of their columnists to write a letter to their father in honour of Father’s Day. My Dad died in 1997 but he’s still missed and I think of him often. In celebration of Father’s Day 2011, here’s the letter I wrote.
One of my favourite childhood memories is of walking hand-in-hand with you, looking up at the night sky as you told me about the star constellations. Little did you know then that your love of the stars would rub off on me and nurture my love of astrology. You were an accountant and I know astrology was never your cup of tea, yet you were always proud of me.
We had what in astrology is called a “cosmic marriage” – my Moon is in Libra, at exactly the same place as the Sun in Libra when you were born. I was always aware of a special connection between us. I remember you picking me up from parties when I was still living at home and saying to me, “Pop your head round the door and say goodnight to Mum – I’ll tell her you’re fine”, when in reality I was more than a little tipsy! You always encouraged me to be independent and when I left home at 18 to go to university you told me I was on my own financially. Even when I rang you because my overdraft was growing rapidly, you’d suggest I get a part-time job and that was that. I was so cross with you at the time but your advice was spot on. I’ve managed my finances well all my working life, thanks to your wise parenting.
So many people loved you – you were kind, funny and generous. One of the toughest experiences of my life was when you suffered a massive stroke in 1994. Although you recovered some of your abilities and could still understand us, you were never able to talk or walk again. It said a lot about your indomitable spirit that you tackled this new stage in your life with as much good humour as you showed throughout your whole life. You did your best to hide your pain from Mum. I’ll never forget the day I went to see you in hospital on my own. You came over in your wheelchair and started to cry like a little boy hurting inside. The two of us sobbed and held one another and I told you, “Whenever you need to cry, I’m here for you.” Looking back, I feel so privileged that you allowed me to see your vulnerability and trusted me with your pain.“