by Jim Moginie
It’s complicated as I had two fathers. So it’s Dear Dads.
To my natural one.
You did what you could with an 18 year old girlfriend you knocked up living in a strict Catholic atmosphere in a NSW country town 1950s era. I was adopted out, but you went on to marry her anyway. You had 5 more kids with her so thanks for loving my mother so well and for so long.
I only met you twice in the year before you died but my sense of you was that you loved a chat, a drink, a smoke. And women.
You had many careers in your life: prospector, sparky, childcare centre manager and more. We are similar because you were a gypsy, and the life of a musician would have suited you well. I got that wanderlust from you. You were a rock and roller without the rock and roll.
I have no sense of animosity about being given up because I see it all through the prism of love, and history can’t be changed. It’s a sliding doors in the end. It was the times. Thanks for giving me my life.
To my adoptive one.
You were a suburban businessman Dad, and a man of few words. You would stare silently into the fire that you had set in the backyard incinerator on a Sunday and I would secretly watch from behind the hedge. You would pour petrol onto grass clippings and the explosion would shake the windows of the house. And you would stare some more, lost in unreadable thoughts. Thanks for doing such a good job in bringing me up: I’m happy I told you as much weeks before you died as kids can be ungrateful, and it was because I had children then that I knew a little bit of what it must have been like for you.
Thanks for your attendances: for the knee scrapes, for the school awards nights, for the sausages you would cremate on the BBQ, and for being the breadwinner.
In the end, the one that was there the most is the real Dad, and you were.
Jim Moginie 27 March 2019