Thursday, 13 May 2010

Boardrooms, Painting and Grieving

Not in any particular order but that's essentially been my life since my Dad died. Dad was a businessman. Along time ago, back in the late 70's, he had an idea for simplifying the procurement process for managing materials in the oil/gas industry which he worked in. Think big. North Sea oil rigs. Anyway, he then spent several years designing a system (CAPS - computer aided procurement system); got a top notch software programmer on board and started his own business. It has greatly evolved since then obviously.

Today, things are very different. The other two shareholders are in the middle of a corporate punch up. We're in the middle and its not nice. I can't go into details for legal reasons. Suffice to say that I know more about Company Law (UK), cash flow forecasts, profit and loss, swot analysis, shareholders agreements, Articles of Association and sat round more boardroom tables than can be good for a simple woman like me! ha! I kid you not! My sister is the same. Being Executors/Trustees of Dad's estate we've literally had no choice but to fight this fight. Either that or lose everything including a lifetime of my Dad's work and my Mum's financial security - no exaggeration!
It's the strangest thing, I've risen to the challenge. I have a strength I didn't know I had. I'm exhausted beyond anything I've done before even raising 4 children of similar age. Not joking. I've cried and cried through frustration, exhaustion and anger of the situation we're in. I love it. I hate it. I feel to some extent, I've found my vocation. I'm not scared of business and its complexities. I'm not scared of walking into a board room full of "suited and booted" men. I was, at first, terrified and if I'm honest, intimidated but then suddenly something changed. I don't know what. I don't know when. My eldest son runs his own business and he's been a tower of strength with his advice and support. That's been a great help. Just when I thought I couldn't take any more, he'd tell me not to worry, the adrenaline will kick in, "you can do it, Mum", he tell me. And it did and I could.
My son, Daniel at his business in London, with my Dad - taken just 5 weeks before Dad died
It's not over. We're still negotiating. It's slowly moving forward. We have a fantastic corporate lawyer. He's been amazing and worth every single penny. He's been encouraging to me and my sister. We've been told by him and experienced businessmen involved in this, how proud we should be of ourselves for our conduct and professionalism. For our behaviour in the boardroom and of our emails, letters.. etc.. Not bad for 2 middle aged housewives!! hahaha!

More importantly to us, is the knowledge that Dad would be proud of us. His girls. I've often had people say to me, including my Mum, that I'm "my father's daughter". Oh yes indeed. It appears that I may well be! Just a little bit anyway. His shoes are too big to fill. I'm not saying I could ever be who he was in his role as a businessman but I know I'm more capable than I believe I ever could be. I know I can achieve more than I ever thought possible.  It means I can reach for my goals and dreams with a new gusto.

In the middle of all that, I managed to find a little time to paint. Slow but sure. I've found a new love... painting portraits. Again, something from my Dad. He was an artist. I have the most wonderful memories of him sketching and then painting. The smell of oils will always remind me of my Dad! I now have a new goal. I want to do portraits of my kids and my grandchildren. Ambitious, yes. I'm excited about it. It's something so far removed from my every day life at the moment so is a great escape. And a nod to my Dad. Another way to remember him and honour all that he taught me when I was little and in my teens but only now can appreciate!
Somewhere in all of this, I'm grieving for my loss. Not sure how or when but I think its happening. I get moments of being overwhelmed with the pain of the loss. I go to call him when I've got a question about his business and it's only as I pick up the telephone, I remember that he's died. Today would've been his 69th birthday. My thought processes are strange. I guess it's grief. But today, I thought to myself that I could buy him a birthday card every year and then just save them and give them to him when I see him again. When he comes home. And then I realise, he's not coming home. I think it's my frustration at wanting to acknowledge his birthday. To be able to tell him "Happy Birthday, Dad". And I can't. I guess it'll get easier with each year that passes.
I'm deeply sad. I feel a huge depth of emptiness. He's gone. I don't want him to be gone. Where are you, Dad? Where did you go? I hear myself say this almost every day. I wake up and forget for a split second that he's died and then I remember and all I can do is just sigh so heavily, it hurts.

It seems appropriate to me today to make this post. His birthday. I love you, Dad and I miss you so much. Happy Birthday!


Sarah said...

Oh Di I do admire you-you are doing so well and sound really impressive from what you have written here. Your Dad obviously taught you so much about what he was doing and has given you your strength. It is a testament to the strength of your family and your love for him and is lovely to read about. I wish you luck in your continuing endeavours. Take care xx

Carole Anne Carr said...

What a marvellous ambition. I love your painting, so talented.

honey said...

Di - This was a beautiful post. My Dad was 66 when he died. Your Dad would have been 69 today, much to young.... I believe your Dad IS proud of you. When you are exhausted, it is he who whispers encouragement. When you feel intimidated, it is he who infuses you with confidence. He IS in the boardroom with you. His essence is in the smell of the paints, he speaks to you through the words of your son. He is there, Di, he is....his love for you will never die. God bless.

mystele said...

i am so glad to hear that you are standing on the Rock for strength through this- all things are possible through him for those who believe. you go, girl! the painting is lovely, and i think your gut art is going to a whole new level because of the loss and the joy.

Shalae said...

Way to go Di, I'm so proud of you for having the guts, ambition and motivation to do what you are doing for him with his business. That takes real guts. Your painting is beautiful and I can't wait to see the other. I'm so sorry for your loss and grief. But he's there Di. He is very much alive, and very aware of each and everything you do, although his body has gone the way of the earth. He as not. You will see him again. Hang in there. It is not easy not having that daily association with them, but you have much of him there with you too, his art he passed on, his love, his business sense, everything. But someday you will hug, see and talk with him. I love the scriptures for that peace of what happens to you when you die, and that helps so much. Know I love you! Hang in there honey!

maybe said...

I'm appreciate your writing style.Please keep on working hard.^^

*~Niki~* said...

Sending you lot's of love Diane xxx

mini said...

I like your blog, very sound. I'm sorry about your Dad. Your painting is awesome, please continue it. You can also visit my blog at

maybe said...

I'm appreciate your writing style.Please keep on working hard.^^