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M Y F ATHER Next Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
I later discovered the cassette tapes he had taken there with him. One was Janos Starker’s recordings of Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. J. S. Bach was my father’s favourite composer. I believe that it is the mathematical structure of his works that my father would have found irresistibly attractive. Having studied mechanical engineering at university, my father was originally employed by a small marine engineering company that was later acquired by one of the Sumitomo Group’s corporations. He was sent to Dubai and Qatar as an International project manager to build desalination plants. This posting lasted over 10 years, during which time I hardly knew he existed, especially, as true to his altruistic nature, he would give his colleagues his holiday entitlements. The strength of the trust between my father and mother must have been extraordinary. I cannot imagine how hard his life must have been. It was his discipline and perseverance that allowed him to overcome arduous situations. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
I regretted not being more solicitous around him. After I came to the U.K, he became very ill and had to go into a nursing home. One day, my mother and I gave a concert in the home as a Christmas present. Not until I saw him make a heroic effort to try to applaud us, did I know that he approved of my way of life. He was scarcely at home from my childhood to my adolescence. Even when we met, neither of us had any idea what to talk about. To me he often seemed very private and distant, and once he decided to talk, his laborious speech was exceedingly circuitous. But he simply had more on his mind than I could have comprehended. His illness was not diagnosed until it was too late. On reflection, I can recall that he knew something was going terribly wrong with his health, and he suffered for over 20 years but no one at all believed him. Only after his mobility became extremely limited, was he diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
Having seen him smile at the concert for the first time, and as it transpired the last time, I reproached myself severely for not having recognised his profound attentiveness and not having consoled him while he was still young and close. Ironically, after his speech became affected by his illness I was the one who could understand his unspoken messages best. While someone was pushing his wheel chair, he would suddenly grab on to something. Everyone dismissed this as a troubled consciousness, and treated him as if he were a spoilt child in a supermarket. I, however, recognised it as his backbreaking attempt to stand up by himself. Although I knew that he would never be able to walk again, I helped him in his attempt. Perhaps, there were a couple of seconds, during which my father’s body wobbled in the air between the arms of the chair. Regrettably, I could not hold him any longer, but I said to him, “You’ve just stood up. You haven’t done that in years. It’s amazing. Maybe you can stand a little longer tomorrow, and will eventually walk again.” He released his grip, and looked content. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
Ultimately, a parent's priority is to set a good example of a way of life, irrespective of the length of time they share with their children. I can cherish the memory of my late father by talking to Josephine who is the repository of his soul. My father had remarkable wisdom beneath his philosophical placidity. I wish I could listen to him talk about his favourite subjects such as marine engineering, art, philosophy and enlightenment. Until recently, I was not aware that I am so like him. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
M Y M OTHER NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
Walking along the beach with my parents one day, I might have been thinking I would grow faster by carrying my mother’s handbag, so I did. I soon discovered that this thing (I would not have known the word ‘handbag’ then) was incredibly heavy and I was no longer able to carry it, but my mother simply told me to keep carrying it until we arrived back home. I remember vividly that I thought she was monstrous. This was my first lesson in responsibility. I was around 16 months old. My mother and I are like identical twins; she being the younger, of course! However, I quite often feel that she is barking at me as her Chinese birth sign is the dog and mine is the sheep!! According to my father, I am her hobby because she would not have minded spending on my education whatever enormous amounts of time and money, had she been able to afford it. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
During my schooldays, it was compulsory for our parent(s) to prepare a daily lunch-box. One of my fellow pupils enviously told me my lunch-box always looked so colourful and appetising, and indeed, it was delicious. Later, my mother said, “When I was a school girl, I felt desolate at the sight of my lunch, mainly due to the lack of food, so I tried my hardest to protect you from that misery.” For over 10 years, she got up before 5am, 6 days a week to prepare a fully cooked meal for my lunch-box. Even more remarkably, her cooking skills are on a par with those of a Michelin star chef. Her priority was to enhance my sensitivity and sensibility to the genuine in art. She used to take me to concerts by legendary performers such as Gilels, Richter, Navarra, Tortelier, Fournier, Rostropovich, Starker, Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau, and Orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the London Symphony. She also managed to take me to as many art exhibitions as possible. I simply adored the great works. The most awesome experience of all was the Rubens' room at the Louvre which we visited while I was still a child. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
Having nursed my father at home single-handedly for over 3 years, to the point of her complete exhaustion, she felt it would be suicidal to continue any longer. Had she done so, I would have been forced to take care of two bedridden parents. So she eventually took him to a nursing home and, anxious not to cause disruption in my life, she went through all of this alone. Although I had been wondering why my father was not at home any time I phoned, I still did not know about his illness; she was indeed a very good liar. Surprisingly, she was not only a housewife. While teaching piano at a college, she organised a group called Krone for piano performance and academic studies. I can recall her practising works by Schumann, her favourite composer. Though, I was too young then to understand his music. I thought, “He changes the mood too often.” I can now, however, understand that this is the charm my mother admires in his works. She sacrificed all her activities to support me in my chosen profession of music. She has been the severest critic of my performance, apart from myself, as well as being a dedicated fan. NextPrevious Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.
My mother is very intellectual and artistic but always pretends not to be aware of her true capabilities!! When she had just celebrated her 70th birthday, she told me she was once again practising pieces such as Bach’s Prelude and Fugue, Mozart’s Variations, Beethoven’s Sonatas etc., which she wants to include in a concert she plans to give when she reaches 80. Previous Copyright © 2007 June Grandwells. This essay is protected by UK Copyright Service registration.Antique Frames: www.antiqueframes.eu / Wallpaper: httpwww.wallpaperdirect.co.uk
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