I remember growing up. As any 6-year-old, I was into my black BMX bike. My fondest memories were those of riding that bike all over the place with my mum and her sister in tow right behind me. When I reflect back to those days now, I think those memories are only special due to the bond and love they had between them and for us.
My father was more of a father and not a Dad. He fell into a career trap where work was his priority and he had no time for anything else. It was a very traditional male role where he was not allowed to show any emotion. He had to be strong (even though later on, as I grew up, He wasn’t). Time with him was usually on a Sunday (his day off) for a few hours and then it was back to work he went. I don’t blame him for much but I do hold the fact that I never really had a father figure growing up against him. Come to think of it, I lost out on a lot all because he was too concerned about a career that got him nowhere. Now, in his 60’s and suffering from Dementia, I try to recoup the years lost only to have my heart broken due to his condition. He’s not the person he knew. He’s not the person he was. It’s incredibly sad to see someone wither away and watch time and a worsening condition take its toll.
So essentially I grew up under the care and guidance of my mother and her sister. A little background about them. They were born into the poorest of poor families. There were 8 of them and tea used to be served in old cleaned out jars of jam. A dress for a special occasion had to be shared among the four sisters and they had nights where they went to bed starving. One thing they always had was a bond. A bond of closeness. My mum told me that in time, she realized, that even though they had nothing but love, those were some of the best days of her life.
I am now in my late 20’s and that bond, that feeling where love is all I need and want is what drives me. That is what I search for and yearn for. That is what I felt on that black BMX all those years ago. I think about it now and It makes me chuckle that this feeling grew on me and made me be the person I am today all because of a badly painted black BMX bike.