I returned from my Aunts, in her company, on the day of the funeral; to find that my younger brother and I were not going to the cemetery.
"Take Jimmy for a walk," my mother said as the hearse and coaches arrived. It seemed a relief to me, as we walked down the garden path and up the lane to the main road, that one distinct stage in the misery had abruptly came to an end.
Before leaving the house, I had been alone for a few minutes with my father, as a result of meeting my mother on the stairs.
"Would you like to slip in and say goodbye to your dad?" she said; she was still mopping her eyes. The bed had been pulled away from the wall a foot or so, for some reason and I stood behind the headrail looking through.
My father looked so normal that I felt a strong urge to appeal to him to wake, but as I touched his cold forehead through the rails I knew that it was no use.
I don't know why we walked the way we did. We could have walked in the opposite direction to the cemetery. Maybe it was because I had walked this way with my dad a few weeks before he died. One day during the summer I had arrived home from school to find him sitting alone at the table. He called me over, and by the quiet way he spoke to me I knew that he was upset, though he must have thought over what he was going to say, because he said it straight and without faltering.
"I want you to do your best at school and promise me to look after your Mother, because I won't always be here." I didn't want him to see me crying, so I walked away towards the fireguard. My father put his boots on and we went for a walk.
You know that's a terrible feeling - just the thoughts of going for a walk tended to kid me that after all everything must be ok. - Though I knew well enough that it wasn't, there was no escape from what we knew must happen: - the doctors had "given up."
Opposite the old farm stables of his coal merchant days, we sat on a form. He said that his new boots, which had been provided by the British Legion, were making his ankles sore. Taking a razor blade from his waistcoat pocket, he unwrapped the paper and bending down, he cut slits around the top of each boot; then he winked at me and cutting the leather above his little toe he said, "That should ease the bugger."
Jimmy and I had almost reached the form where I had sat that day with my dad, when I heard the funeral procession approaching. I took my brothers hand and we ran and hid in a gateway until it had passed because I didn't want my Mother to see us.
Where we went or what we did after leaving the gateway I can't remember at all. I only know that looking back thirty-six years; the death of my Father gave me by far the worst experience of my life.
I had only known my Father for about seven years, because of course my first two or three years are a blank and his last two or three were spent on shift work or in hospital, during those lousy rotten days of the thirties. But the few years in between were marvelous.
My earliest memories are of smells of toast and frying bacon wafting up the stairs, and into the small back bedroom in the dark of early mornings in winter. My Father who was a coke and coal dealer, was up and out. There were three of us in the bed then, my Brother had not yet been born. This must have been the year that my older Sister started school, because after my Father slammed the door, my Mother would shout up - "Connie you'll be late.".. END OF SAMPLE, 684 WORDS, 645 WORDS REMAINING.