Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Dad

1.12.1924 - 2.3.1986
Thursday is "Thoughts for Dad's Day" in one of our Facebook groups which got me to thinking of how influential mine was in my life, and remains so . He instilled in me the values that I live by, loved me unconditionally (although I was his favourite) and showed me the importance of being me.

Not that life with Dad was all sunshine and roses, he was himself, true to himself and steadfastly stood by his friends and family. This resulted in many a comical anecdote, to me but not poor Mum, Frustration at his stubbornness abounded, holidays were out for him, and so for us as a family. Why holiday? There is work to do! Idleness just was not in his makeup.
Dishes done and beds made before 9am ALWAYS 

Traveling was not on his agenda, no itchy feet for him. All that was cured in the Kokoda Trail during his war years, a trip to New Guinea was more than enough traveling. So Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the nightmares he suffered were a huge influence on family life.
His father, my dearly loved Pop Krause served in Gallipoli and never spoke of his service years for a very long time.We thought the cannibalism of a mate as Dad watched as bad as it could get in New Guinea, how wrong we were.

Unit 11 LHR [Light Horse Regiment] (June 1915)
Ship Name HMAT Borda 

Dad was more forthcoming with me, and later my son got all the history, stories, and brutal honesty of his time in service and we both marched with him with pride every Anzac Day. Amongst his most respected people remain the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels'
Many a mother in Australia
when the busy day is done
Sends a prayer to the Almighty
for the keeping of her son
Asking that an angel guide him
and bring him safely back
Now we see those prayers are answered
on the Owen Stanley Track
For they haven't any halos
only holes slashed in their ears
And their faces worked by tattoos
with scratch pins in their hair
Bringing back the badly wounded
just as steady as a horse
Using leaves to keep the rain off
and as gentle as a nurse
Slow and careful in the bad places
on the awful mountain track
The look upon their faces
would make you think Christ was black
Not a move to hurt the wounded
as they treat him like a saint
It's a picture worth recording
that an artist's yet to paint
Many a lad will see his mother
and husbands see their wives
Just because the fuzzy wuzzy
carried them to save their lives
From mortar bombs and machine gun fire
or chance surprise attacks
To the safety and the care of doctors
at the bottom of the track
May the mothers of Australia
when they offer up a prayer
Mention those impromptu angels
with their fuzzy wuzzy hair.
'Bert Beros'

These people's philosophy is very typical of Dad
although the reason he parted his hair in the middle was not because a bullet went through his hat (actually he was shot in the bum) 
Stories, yes there were always stories, some taller than others!

 I grew up with 
"do unto others as you would have other do unto you"
and should one of us slip up, was asked "would you like it done to you?"
invariably that answer was no until we took it up ourselves and lived accordingly.

Respect for people and especially adults was a given and still is.
(exception being one long standing disagreement over a neighbours name and "if we couldn't pronounce their name then just call them Mr and Mrs". Well Hello! Their name was Fing not Thing and we weren't the ones calling them the Things, he was.

Then came his humour
(or until, as a truck driver, he tried to fold himself into Mum's little Morris car) 
then there was the time my brother and his friends decided to play cowboys and Indians in his broad beans
and the not to be forgotten
heart attack on the bowling green to which he looked up at Mum and stated "I guess this means your not getting one tonight?"

 Yes dad was partial to a drink, usually in excess, but what a lot of entertainment resulted! Like the time he was late home (again) and he arrived with and a mate, a bunch of spinach with a few not so carefully added geraniums from a neighbours garden and the biggest grin on his face, ever so proud he had bought Mum a bunch of flowers.

The sing a long's(not optional) of "Roll a Silver Dollar" and the "Aeroplane Jelly Song" being his very short repartuar.Amazing Grace reserved for special occasions only.

The surprise 60th Birthday party where the ground wobbled and not his boots, ask him. Pelican developed a rough terrain that day! But we did leave him in the not so capable hands of fellow bowlers, who of course sided with him.

A man who could, and would read 5 western books at the same time, strategically placed all over the house, yet could not comprehend a soap operas still baffles me.

The Sundays he would arrive with either a coconut or a pineapple without fail, where he got them from out of season he would not say.
I knew he was human
  • He cried real tears every Anzac Day
  • His leg broke jumping the fence to save the neighbours chooks
  • His truck window always broke (loved fresh air)
  • His stubbornness
  • The way only he could hold me during my bouts of Myopic Epilepsy
  • On the drive to my wedding when he refused to give me away, but eventually agreed on a loan
But to me he was far, far more
and still is.

NX177266 Cpl 2/3 Bn   
Rest in Peace

But it's your smile, I will never forget 
Always there, never needed a prompt to appear and lit up your whole face
and my world.
So until we catch up again, take care and, not that you needed reminding,
I love you Dad


Linda said...

Beautiful Lynne - a really lovely tribute to your Dad and I understand very well the missing him.

Love and hugs,

luckaye said...

Just lovely Lynne - thank you for sharing with us!