ME AND DADDY, DADDY AND ME
I suppose it was the letters that were the trigger – first for my depression, then for my understanding. Small blue folded airmails that bore my mother’s name on them, plus whatever address happened to be relevant at the time. She had kept them all these years and had asked me, as her first-born, to take care of them.
Allegedly love letters written by my father during the war, they proved to be nothing of the sort. Or at least, not as far as I was concerned. Rather, they shed light on my beginnings, drawing out of the shadows the hidden depths of my childhood and much that had shaped my adult life for good and ill.
And thus began a search into my past. What follows below, and in the coming weeks and months, however, is not intended to be simply a personal memoir. My hope is that you, my readers, will find meaning and purpose in your life as you learn about mine.
HIGHS & LOWS
2012 was a year of highs and lows for me. For the previous fourteen years I'd worked as copyright manager for the Jubilate Group for some of the loveliest people you could hope to meet: hymn writers and composers who, together, have created works of timeless worship and profundity. For the last seven years I'd job-shared with my husband, Paul.
That New Year we faced the losses and gains of retirement. The loss of friendships, status, travel, purpose and income had to be weighed against the pluses of greater freedom and autonomy; spontaneity; a chance to read the paper at leisure; go for a walk at will; have a lie-in if the mood dictated.
LOSSES & GAINS
Planning ahead, I'd ensured that Paul bought himself a new camera and lap-top, while, at the invitation of the Association of Christian Writers (known as ACW) I took on Chairmanship of the committee. We were well prepared for the unstructured flexibility that met the needs of our personality types. Or so I thought!
January 2nd brought the death of my father. It was a good death, however, and I felt at peace. In a further plus, February brought a surprise party for my big birthday, put on by my husband and my eldest daughter, Susie, who arrived, unexpectedly, from afar, with two of my grandchildren. And in yet another plus, in the midst of recession, our house - our beloved family home for thirty years - sold in a matter of months, while our offer on the bungalow we'd seen and fallen in love with in January was accepted. On 2nd August, eight months into 2012, we moved, met our new neighbours, and began a series of improvements to our property.
All was well with the world. Or was it?
The fact was that by the time I finalised probate on my father's will and Christmas was upon us, a series of events spiralled me into a depression that had me examining everything I thought I knew about me and my father, God and myself.
Hence the title of a book, Me and Daddy, Daddy and Me, which I began but never completed. What surprised me, as I fought the feelings of suicide that threatened to engulf me, was the way in which my thoughts were redirected. Much of what I recall from my earliest memories is good and positive: a miraculous series of God-incidents that brought me to faith and still leave me open-mouthed with astonishment. These are the rock upon which my faith is founded; the anchor by which, in the storms - and there have been many - I have been held fast.
It is that book, Me and Daddy, Daddy and Me, that has now metamorphosed into this blog, newly titled – for reasons which I hope will become apparent – into Picked for a Purpose. My hope is that it will at least stretch your mind, but better still, that it will enrich your life.
Twice a wife, three times a mum, and seven times a grandma, Merrilyn Williams is also a multi-published author with a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller. Following her first books, published under various nom de plume in the 1980’s, she continued to be commissioned and published by Hodder & Stoughton, and the like, well into the 1990’s, at which point other commitments took over.
Now retired, she writes fiction, as Mel Menzies, and her books are available from Waterstones, Amazon and, at discount via PayPal, from her website www.melmenzies.co.uk/books
To hear Mel talking about her Evie Adams books, Time to Shine and Chosen? on BBC Radio Devon, go to the Home Page and click the button on the right.
Picked for a Purpose is a series of articles dealing with Relationships & Lifestyle.
For posts offering Resources for Authors, Book Clubs, Readers, Stepfamilies etc, hover over Mel's Muse tab above.