Why couldn’t I see my dad one Christmas last year if Downing Street was partying?

Our bodies wanted to float together in the warm embrace of our family, but our heads kept controlling us (Image: Emma Reed)

I spoke to my father the day he passed away. When I say ‘said,’ I mean on the phone.

A hundred miles stretch between us but, for so many, those conversations have sustained us through the painfully divided days of the pandemic.

We push each other up in a desperate attempt to fill the glass we’re always trying to keep half full, even though it feels like it’s leaking. ‘We’ve come this far,’ we repeatedly say to each other like a mantra – a reward for our exemplary behavior in following the rules.

It seems the rules were not followed by the man who imposed them on us. Rumors of Downing Street Christmas parties have surfaced this week – weeks after it was discovered that Carrie’s partner had been spending Christmas with the Johnsons as part of a ‘care bubble’. take care of their children’.

It’s safe to say that this news broke my heart and made my blood boil.

Curiously, when I look back on that last phone call with my father, death and bereavement took up a part of our conversation as we discussed the breaking news of Hoang’s death. dear Philip that day. April 9, two days after my son’s birthday, is forever etched in my memory.

“In the summer, when things are settled, your mom and I will come down to stay with you and spend time with the grandchildren.”

We say we love and miss each other, as we have always done. I clung to that conversation, repeating it over and over in my head, looking for comforting tidbits, forever grateful that I called that day. It was the night after I watched the news about Prince Phillip’s death that I received another call from home.

I missed Christmas with my dad last year because I follow the guidelines (Image: Peter Summers / Getty Images)

My distraught mother told me that my father had passed away suddenly of a heart attack. I didn’t recognize the howls that came out when I heard the news of this death, just as I didn’t recognize the strange howls that accompanies childbirth. I didn’t expect pain to tear through me. My brain can’t get around the thought that I’ve only seen him for 20 minutes in 15 months and that I’ll never see him again.

That 20-minute meeting took place last December, possibly just before Downing Street entered its supposed party precinct. Despite my insistence that Christmas presents could wait, Dad was adamant that the grandchildren wouldn’t be without their presents; Their interrupted school year was bad enough.

Stubborn to the core, he ignored my objections. He and his mother would drive down from the West Midlands, we would exchange gifts outside, and they would drive back. The thought of them, in their seventies doing it seemed to be above and beyond; For them, it is a necessity. Now, I’m grateful they did.

I find it hard to describe the flow of emotions that ran in those 20 minutes. We stood outside in the rain, social distancing. Our bodies wanted to float together in the warm embrace of our family, but our heads were in control. We followed the principles. We fear fate tempting with a small slip.

Like so many others, we believe our care and sacrifice will then be rewarded with a much-anticipated reunion in the near future. If you had to find one word zeitgeisty for my parents’ generation, it was ‘the deferentials’ – people who respected authority. I have inherited a diluted version.

I wish I could hug my dad, take him in for a cup of tea, pay attention to the Government’s attitude and ignore the rules (Image: Emma Reed)

That day in December, we celebrated it together as we said goodbye with the understanding that, if we started to cry, we might never stop. Little did I know that I would be waving at them one last time and this Christmas I would have to deal with a numbing sensation, trying to ease the pain.

Therefore, reading about the alleged parties that took place in Downing Street last December hurt me. These parties, which have not been denied by the prime minister, have clearly followed all directions.

These principles must have been grossly misunderstood by the public, as we adhered to guidelines that forbid indoor mixing with anyone outside our household or the support bubble.

Certainly, if Downing Street were to follow the same principles, the parties would consist of a small number of people, all closely related (a disturbing thought), standing a meter apart from all windows are open. Reliable? I think not.

While the parties ‘follow the instructions’ are supposed to be ongoing, hundreds of people have died not only from Covid, but also from loneliness and mental health problems aggravated by the pandemic. Grandparents cannot meet newcomers in their family. People have missed their own office parties. Is it any surprise that there was a furious outburst at another example of a government unashamedly making its own rules, throwing dirt on its own mess like a dog? ?

I missed Christmas with my dad last year because I followed the guidelines.

This year, I am faced with a crater-like absence that is still enough to shock me.

I wish I could hug my dad, bring him in for a cup of tea, notice the attitude of the Government and ignore the rules. However, the difference is that I care.

Emmanuel Macron may have called the prime minister a clown in charge of the circus, but I think it’s more sinister than that: he’s The Joker.

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Huynh Nguyen

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