Sunday, June 08, 2008

Dad's diary

In 1964, when I was in sixth class, my brothers and sisters and I gave Dad a five year diary for Christmas. Dad began writing a daily diary at the age of 55 (my age, now) on 1st January, 1965, and kept this up through six diaries, until Tuesday, 15th February, 1994. On Wednesday, 16th February Mum began writing the entries, which began with Dad collapsing at the breakfast table and being taken to hospital by ambulance. The rest of the year is a document of Dad's decline, until on 7th December, 1994 Dad again went to hospital by ambulance, and Mum later wrote on the top of the page
Scot left home for last time!

My wife, Joan and I have been fascinated to read through all of Dad's diaries which we have available to read. My brother Christopher has the fifth diary (1985-89) which I hope we will one day be able to borrow and read through. As children we thought that Dad's entries were awfully boring, because his first entry is quite typical of most of them:
At home. Cleaned under bonnet of car, went to Caves Beach with Mac and children. Friday.
Dad mostly wrote about the weather, what he had done during the day, what he had growing in the garden, his state of health (but only if he was feeling "off" and unable to work)and always made a record of people he had written to or phoned.

But as we read them now, we find them interesting, partly because he reminds us of what happened in our family from 1965 to 1994, and partly because we enjoy it when he breaks his pattern and writes something personal, such as
Wednesday, 18th January, 1967
"Wm J McKell" 7 am-3 pm
Worked on second half of trellis
Note:- David is staying with a friend at Valentine, house quiet

No comments: