A Letter to Mary on Father’s Day

Dear Mary,

This is more than likely going to horrify you, being the intensely private person that you are. But on your first Father’s Day without Dad, I thought I would celebrate the best thing we ever did: YOU.

Greg and Mary 1992 just born

When you were born, I couldn’t believe that I had actually made a baby. After nearly three days of labour and three different types of hard core anaesthesia (none of which worked), I had almost stopped believing you were real. The first words that I uttered when they placed your slimey, squishy babyness on my belly was,

Oh my God! It really IS a baby!”

Dad and I wept. I fell in love for the second time in my life.

Dad never left my side the entire time. and for most of those 69 hours, my nails were dug into his arms. I did wonder when on earth he managed to get to the loo.

Mary on Dad's shoulders age 1

You shifted our world. Quite literally. You walked at 9.5 months, talked at 10 months, and pretty soon you refused to do anything unless you could do it “mysoolf!” You were still teeny tiny but you had an incredible sense of humour.

And I never slept through the night again. Ever.

Dad would rock you (actually ‘swing you’!) to sleep every night in his arms, singing at the top of his voice and playing his wonderful compositions as loud as he could. No one believed that this actually made you fall asleep. But it was about the only thing that did.

You came to your first performance at the age of 4 months, and I just carried you on stage for many of those shows. You would sit on my hip as I sang, facing the audience, watching dad conduct us in the choir and pretty soon, it didn’t matter how well we sang. You had melted the hearts of the audience – as Dad conducted us, your little baby arms were waving too, conducting Dad right back 🙂

Greg and Mary 1997

At five you were scintillating, smart and sensitive. Back then, our home was a madhouse, always full of fun, creative, beautiful people. “Mummy, who slept over last night?” was what you’d often say as soon as you woke up! You had an endless array of wonderful young folk who vied for your attention, and you loved hanging out with them.

But you deserved so much more of our time. I was starting to get sick with chronic fatigue syndrome and Dad was always working, always creating and producing shows.

So you took action. You taught yourself to write.

Greg and Mary 2010

In your teens, Dad became less Mr Awesome and more Mr Annoying. But on this particular day, everything was shiny. It was in May of 2010, we walked the dogs to the park, we took photos of each other, we laughed in the sunshine and we all LOVED your hat.

Walking was becoming increasingly painful for Dad, but he ignored it, thinking it he had badly strained a muscle.

Just weeks later after that sunny photo was taken, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

For the next four years, you shared The Drama. Listened to the sounds of illness, witnessed the transformation, dealt with the sadness and adjusted to everything that cancer brought into our home. Your dad changed in front of your eyes. And Life was never the same.

Greg and Mary 2014 April 22

Then on April 22nd this year, I took this goofy picture.

It was Dad’s idea to hold up the fingers to make two 2’s for ‘22’. It was your twenty-second birthday, the last one you shared with dad. He was so unwell that day, but you never let on how sad you felt. And Dad never showed how disappointed he was. We all just partied around him.

Twenty-two days later, Dad said his last good-byes to you.

In that last conversation, I remember him saying, over and over, how much he loved you and how proud he was of you.

Greg and Mary on the Stairs 1996

What a pair! The same eyes, the same amazing creative spirit.
And may I say, you’ve done a fine job of raising yourself, despite your parents 🙂
I’m so happy we made you.

With love from your greatest admirer,

mum

 

 

 

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Comments 32

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  1. Well im glad it wasn’t just me in tears. Onya for fessing up first Wing.

    Love to all you guys, and special thoughts for you two beautiful gals..

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      Browny, mate, you’re the best. Will never forget how you and Michael got Greg up that mountain and back again. Made his dream come true. And thank you for lending me your wife, when I needed her most! x

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  2. OMG, you have done it again, dear Mal.
    What a wonderful tribute to both Greg and Mary, and what a proud couple you and Greg are/were. Absolutely beautiful father’s day prresent to that lovely man and gorgeous daughter!

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      We missed him yesterday. I was so sad the night before, and when I woke up I decided to turn it around and celebrate the gift we shared… Mary. And Rachel is my ‘bonus’ 🙂 Thank you for being such a lovely reader, Robin xox

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      Thank you Suzanne. Photos are just magical. I think I would have about one fiftieth of the memories I do have, if I didn’t have photos to remind me 🙂

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  3. That was a beautiful read Malini. I sincerely hope Mary doesn’t mind her privacy being invaded because I am so glad to have had that peek into your family life. Love and hugs to you both, Lynn xx

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  4. Thank you dear Malini for this brief but moving tribute to Greg and Mary and Rachel, to Fathers’ Day and family. Your family is very precious and your openness a gift for all of us to cherish those close at hand, and also those who have moved into the eternal garden.

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      I’m glad I could re-frame the thoughts of loss that I felt on Father’s Day, and celebrate what he left behind. Rachel and Mary are truly his beautiful legacies 🙂 I thought I’d start with the one that I had a hand in (or a womb, so to speak!). Thank you for your kind words, Marjorie.

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  5. this was simply beautiful Malini.
    Any daughter would be proud to receive such a wonderful letter.

    Cathryn.

    Keep your spirit strong.

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  6. I got teary reading your beautiful & moving tribute. Thank you for sharing this with us. I had a dream last night about Uncle Greg and the choir. Love to you all… xx

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  7. Beautiful Mary, You have developed & grown into an even more stunningly lovely being. You touched my heart when we share sessions some years ago
    & I trust you enjoy great health now. Malini, you have such a warm & generous heart & soul… lovely to hear snippets of you on FB.
    I honor the journey you are both still travelling without your blessed husband & father…. so sad & so heart-breaking. Loving wishes with you both. x Lyndal

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      Lyndal how kind of you to stop by! It’s been so many years, and I remember what wonderful healing work you did for me. Yes, Greg’s left a big hole in our lives, but also many wonderful memories. We were blessed to share so much. xox

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  8. Dearest Malini,
    What a splendididly moving and illuminating account you have portrayed. We were moved to tears going through this lovely piece of of insight you have given here – baring your soul is never easy; nevertheless you have given all of us who read your letter to Mary , a wee bit of yourself, your dear husband and of your darling Mary! Showers of Baha’u’llah’s blessings on all of you.

    With love & fond memories of 42 Peel Avenue.

    Pauline & Isaac

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