Me and Dad

Stories from you, show the strength and courage of our people

I was raised by my Aboriginal dad, I know Aboriginal dad’s having been coping some flack, but they are great. THey don’t all drink that’s only a few that get shown on telly. My dad is special he raised me and my brother, he said he had no favorites but I knew I was his favorite. My mum died of cancer when I was 8. I remember going to the hospital all the time, we moved to be close to the hospital, dads side of the family didn’t like that, my aunties wanted us to stay with them and for dad to go to the hospital and we could stay with them. But dad moved us all to be with mum. I know now why he did that, she was dying but at the time it was exciting to move and sad to leave family behind. Dad worked all day, me and my brother went to school, we got up in the morning and dad was gone to work, but their was always porridge made and warm sitting on the stove. We came home from school and did our homework, clean up the house and started something for dinner, we weren’t master chef or anything like that, it was just boiled potato and cabbage and then dad would do the meat when he got home, we had a lot of corned beef, that we could cut and thought we were deadly when he would get home and we had dinner ready. Dad would come home tired, but he would smile and we ate dinner he wouldn’t let us tellhim about our day. We would then go up to the hospital and then we would talk about our day, so that mum could hear about it. We would have fun sitting around mum talking about everything, she was always so happy to see us. The nurses always knew us by our noise as we came in. They would give us the old syringes and we would have water fights with them, filling them up and squirting each other, them and mum and dad. One of them said if we put food coloring in the syringes we could do paintings. We bugged dad for some so we could do it, but he couldn’t. I guess the nurse understood that he was struggling, working raising kids, being at the hospital all the time and that he probably couldn’t afford it. She bought some food colouringing in one night and some paper, nothing fancy just old butchers paper. We set up on the floor in the ward and squirted and giggled and made some beautiful stuff. We stuck it up all around mums bed. It really brighten up the place. We took the food coloring home and for the next few weeks we had colored potato and cabbage and cauliflower. I don’t know how my dad sat there and smiled and ate the stuff. Mum died and we moved back home and life just wasn’t the same without mum. But dad made sure that we never felt left out of things. He was so shame when we had to go shopping to buy my first bra. My aunties all wanted to do it, but he took me to the big department store and boldly asked the lady to help me, she took me aside and measured and fitted and I got my first bra. My dad talked to me about periods and took me to the chemist and got the lady to explain all the different products, so I knew what was what. After both of these events he told mum all about it. We would visit mum every week and tell her about everything. It might seem strange to you but my dad went out of his way to make life normal for his kids. I am packing up my dads stuff now, he has passed he is finally with my mum. But I found folded up neatly in the cupboard our food coloring drawings. I realized then as I was telling my kids and neices and nephews how incredible his actions were, my mum died in 1970, in those days men didn’t do the stuff he did.


About proudblacksista

An Aboriginal woman. mother of 4 diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour 7 years ago.I want to share my story to help others. I am working to help other Aboriginal people face the battles of Cancer. Email me with your stories or concerns at View all posts by proudblacksista

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