[Originally posted onTuesday, June 21, 2011]
As it was father’s day on Sunday, I called England to wish David (my stepfather) a happy day. When no one answered the phone I thought it strange. David has been confined to the house for some time with serious old age problems. I left a cheery message on the machine and hoped everything was alright. I learned later that day that he had been taken to hospital with a broken hip. I sort of knew he would probably not survive this and sure enough he passed away this morning.
He was a lovely man who married my widowed mother and took on a precocious sixteen year old into the bargain. Not an easy task even for the most tolerant of people. It was not all smooth sailing in the beginning, well, how could it be. I’ve always been, shall we say, a little strong-willed.
Poor David, I really put him through the wringer that first year. At seventeen I left home to start my own life. Ha Ha aren’t we funny at that age, we think we know it all. I had two jobs, a crummy flat in the dodgy end of town that I shared with…….an actress friend called Julia Scott-Pillow who had the most beautiful long red hair she insisted be called ” titian”…..no drama there then, and I soon learned that my life back at home was way more comfortable and that David was really super-duper nice to me. We became very close after I moved away and when my mother was dying he kept her at home and nursed her with such tender loving care till the very end. I loved him even more. Always the perfect gentleman, he taught me to love Jazz, taking me to my first concert (Oscar Peterson) and I shared his passion for Rachmaninoff after he asked for an LP of one of his concertos for Christmas and I could not stop playing it. It seemed to encompass all my teenage angst.
It doesn’t matter how old or sick a person is, when someone you love and respect dies you instantly feel that hole open in your heart. I will miss you dearest David.