Posts Tagged ‘tax reduction’

Families need less tax and more time

21/07/2011, 07:00:31 AM

by Peter Watt

Four years ago my Dad died. He had suffered with cancer for a few years, which forced him to retire early. He appeared to have recovered, but in 2007 he suffered a relapse. After just six months, he died at home with his family around him. It was a terrible blow to us all, but we were all with him when we he died. If there is such a thing as a good death, this was it. Eight of his children, their partners, countless grandkids and his wife of nearly 40 years, my Mum, were all with him. We cried, said some prayers and goodbye as he slipped into a coma and then, mercifully, died.

Over the next few months I missed him terribly. He was my Dad, of course, but also my friend, my advisor and an oasis of calm. I had known him my whole life, after all, and at moments of great stress, when I was celebrating or when I was alone, the pain I felt was intense. At really unexpected moments I would find myself welling up and crying. I remember sitting on a train crying uncontrollably to the concerned looks of fellow passengers. Slowly the incidences of acute pain lessened in frequency. They still happened, they still do, but I was also able to reflect on his life and my time with him.

In reality, I only got to know my Dad well as an adult. When I was younger he was all too often absent. Why? Because he was working. In order to keep his family fed and watered and the bills paid, he worked hard, very hard. He wasn’t hugely well paid, not badly paid either, but his job was demanding and required him to be out early in the morning, often returning after we were in bed, and some weekend working. He was always tired. Not just tired, but stressed. And that made him pretty crotchety. At times he was bloody moody. The result was that for much of my childhood, he was either not there or when he was he was quite hard to get on with. My Mum was the central figure in our lives and we could go days without really seeing Dad. And then there are the cherished memories of the times when he was relaxed or a bit more open. (more…)

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