Colin Arthur Bryant and the third child.

I don’t do this. Reblogging I mean. At least NOT my own posts…but you see today is Dad’s 105th birthday.

Three years ago I awoke early on the 13th of April and words poured out of me. Like the molten steel you see running down in to a mould, burning, shining, a completely unstoppable river that once cooled within will form a weapon. That post became my weapon you see. After a lifetime, it sliced effortlessly through the things that guarded my past and held me captive behind a solid door of emotion.

I love my Dad. I loved him growing up. But ours was a tumultuous relationship. Because as deep as my loving was, my understanding of him was shallow. Colin Arthur Bryant was not a sharer. I know that. Yet I was luckier than most in our family. I saw more than the others, but even with that I grew up knowing that I would never be able to say I really knew my Dad.

It has become important to me that my children will never think that of me. Some may say that I over share. I understand their view. I also disagree. Through the circumstances of my life I grew up knowing neither my Dad or my Mum well. I can’t tell you their favourite colour, what smells reminded them of moments they had lived, what their joys were or what their sorrows were. I know nothing of why they once loved each other or why their love became so twisted and full of emotions that drove them to acts I neither know if they regretted or were glad of their doing.

So words have become my path to a future for my children that will enable then to say…this was my Mum. I knew her well !

Again I digress. A habit I am not sure I want to break as it often leads me in to places I had forgotten existed. As I age I feel a growing fondness for finding places that lay hidden in the recesses of my mind and my memories, if only for the lessons that each journey has had, and possibly still has for me.

Time though to revisit Colin. I had thought to write a post today for the celebration of the day he was born. Instead I found myself drawn back three years to this post. I realised that this post had said everything I want to say about the man I called Dad and the years in which he graced my life.

I cried today reading it as much as I did the day I wrote it. Both for the possibilities that were grasped and for the ones abandoned and lost between us over the years. Those tears are good tears…the healing kind.

With all this…I still feel an ache that has never diminished.

So to Colin I say this:

“Happy birthday Dad. I know that you did the best you could with what you had. I am grateful for that. I am grateful for you. I miss you no less with each passing year. I will love you no less on the day I die than I did on the day you passed from my life. I feel you in each step I take forward.
Your loving daughter,

I hope you will have the time to visit fully with my Dad. Get to know him as much…or as little…as I did…in my post from three years ago. That is of course if you haven’t seen it before.

Chronicles of Illusions

One hundred and two years ago Caroline Ada Bryant had a baby boy on this day. Her second child, also her second son.

She named him Colin Arthur Bryant.

As a young boy Colin had hydatids. Maybe that’s why he was a little iffy around animals. His body bore scars from where they had operated to get the small sacs off, and save his life.

He married twice.

His first wife died after they had a son and a daughter.

Colin & Mary Bryant (c) Jo Bryant

His second ran off with a no-hoper from the circus after she had a daughter.

He carried that scar with him for the rest of his life as well.

Once a month until the third child was twelve he came to wherever she lived for his visit. He was always dressed in grey pants with a crease down the legs, a grey jacket, white long sleeved shirt and tie.


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  1. I hadn’t read it before so I went back to the original post and it brought me to tears. It was very emotional, and I love the fact that you were so honest. I agree you have to be very open with your children so they know the real you.
    I felt like I went through it with you and I hope your dad has found some peace now.


    1. I like to believe he has. He wasn’t a bad man, just very closed about himself. Because of that I have always felt I didn’t really know him, and that is the one thing I want to know my kids know – me.


    1. Different…I have been called worse Gemma.
      It is an emotional day for me this day. I always think of Dad. I always miss him. I always know he did the best he could. So…like the guy said in Babe…that’s enough !


      1. Different was a good thing. It’s hard to read everything that comes across the emails, blogs, and all. Sometimes you have to pick and choose. I choose you. πŸ™‚
        Hold on to the memories. xxx


  2. Your dad had a rather tragic life, Jo. Some ghosts we can never fully lay to rest. I’m the same with my dad. I know there was a lot more to know about him, but he was also not a sharer.


    1. I wonder if he thought he was protecting me from it all. But even that is speculation on my part. That is why – even if it might be a little painful to admit to – I no longer keep anything back.


  3. I have not read this post from three years back so I went there. Sigh! We love our parents “just because” and “in spite of.” Lovely tribute!


    1. Thanks. Yes we do. I think that especially once you become a parent yourself you finally begin to realise they didn’t have all the answers. I know I don’t…heck half the time I don’t understand the question.


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