Before I get back into a full-on posting schedule on RobAroundBooks, I feel I should say a little something about the past few months. I don’t usually go in for these ’navel gazing’ kind of posts – mainly because I consider them unprofessional and a bit needy – but I feel the desire to draw a line in the sand before moving on.
Right now I’m in the midst of EdBookFest, and I’m feeling like something of a fraud (especially on Twitter) given that I’ve suddenly burst into activity and noise after months of silence. But truth be told I’ve needed something as grand and as taxing (in a good way) as a premier literary festival to spark me back into action, because the past few months (and beyond) have well and truly knocked me off the rails.
As many of you will know already my father passed away in March, and it’s not been easy. Of course, such grief and sadness is known to almost all of us, but it’s the nature of my father’s decline – which I won’t go into here – that has upset me the most. I know we are all a bit bias when it comes to family, but my father really was an extraordinary man. He was kind, warm and gentle, and he didn’t deserve all that happened to him in his final year.
My sadness is magnified because I feel I wasn’t there for my father as much as I should have been. The main problem with this revolves around geography, with me living in Scotland, and him living in Cornwall. He was never alone – his brother and his family were always at his side so he never wanted for anything – but perhaps he would have been a little happier if his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters had lived closer by. This is something that has racked my conscience and diverted me for months. My father deserved the very best in life, and I don’t feel I delivered to the extent that I should have done.
Of course, I stood up to my duties when required to. I travelled up and down from Scotland to visit him, and we (my wife and I) helped hands on to deal with his affairs, but it has all just been so terribly sad, and even more so given that my mother had passed away in December 2012, which added greatly to my father’s decline in health. And bearing witness to this decline, and watching my father lose his will to live, has been the most upsetting.
My father is at peace now, reunited with his sweetheart, and life for the rest of us goes on. At some point we need to say that enough is enough and we have to get on with living our lives in the way that our parents would want us to. My father was always proud of how passionate I was for the written word. A big reader himself I know that he would want me to continue my evangelistic mission in spreading a love for books, and to touch and motivate others with the same passion and enthusiasm that my father touched me with many years ago. I will always remember sitting with my father after my mother’s funeral, and him telling me that my mother would have been so happy to see how passionate I had become with regards to pursuing such a noble cause. My chest has never puffed with pride so much.
So, as my involvement with this year’s EdBookFest begins I draw a virtual line in the sand and continue my evangelistic mission. I can’t change that which has passed and I can only apologise for falling silent on this website these past few months. I beg forgiveness for any broken promises I made, and apologise to anybody I may have let down. I hope, in time, that any close bonds I previously enjoyed can be repaired.
Know that my enthusiasm for books and my love for reading has never diminished, It was temporarily crushed beneath the burden of an overbearing rock. Now however, I’m giving myself permission to cast that rock off and get back to the job in hand, living as passionately and as colourfully as those around me and looking over me would expect a literary evangelist to live.
Here’s to books and reading dear friends, and to a life where the written word continues to rule supreme.