Over the next few posts I want to tell you all about the things that constantly remind me of my father.
Fruit will forever remind me of my Dad. The majority of varieties will trigger some memory of him and usually not a pleasant one. Fruit had been something my father had thrown upon me and my sister whilst growing up. He just wanted us to be healthy? Possibly, but he was always putting pressure on us to eat. It was as if it would be life-threatening if we didn’t. It took away any enjoyment we had at the time, it became a chore and I hated that as I always loved fruit. A plate would be left on the coffee table filled with a colourful assortment of fruity produce and on seeing it every day waiting for me only forced me to panic. What if I couldn’t finish it all? What will he do? This went on for nearly twenty years of my life, from a young child straight through to my adulthood. Even when I did put my foot down he did not listen. He, obviously, ‘knew best’.
- Apples: My father’s daily fruit, ‘Golden Delicious’ to be specific. Every morning accompanied by a pear and banana, would be my father’s breakfast.
- Banana: The fruit I developed an allergy to as a young adult much to my father’s annoyance. It was to him – the most substantial fruit of all with so many beneficial qualities, in his eyes I couldn’t be allergic to it. He laughed when I told him.
- Berries: As soon as the buzz about blueberries started in the early noughties, I couldn’t escape it. My father became obsessed. I was “clearly going to get cancer” if I didn’t eat enough blueberries and he began to buy them in excess. To my horror, at one point, I was being forced to eat an obscene and impossible amount of blueberries a day.
- Mangoes: One of my favourites. I unfortunately made the mistake of letting my father know how much I like them too. This led him to one day arrive home with a crate of mangoes for me to eat that week. I questioned why he had bought over twenty and of course his answer was, “They were cheap”. When he noticed that I had only consumed three by the fourth day, his anger began to build. I would ask him to help but he would tell me they were too sweet for him and that he expected me to finish every last one.
I never told him and I’m certain he doubted that I did actually finish them, but most of those mangoes were thrown over our fence or dumped in a dustbin away from our house.
It was the only way.
I do still like fruit and sometimes crave it now. At least I know, that it is my own choice to eat as much or as little of it as I like.