Long ago my father wrote out this well-known poem by Rudyard Kipling. My father died quite young at 58. I don’t have many things written in his hand, nor can I ask him why the poem was so important. But I can repeat it here – offering it up as inspiration for any in need of such and in memory of my beloved father.
I wonder if the poem helped him through a particular time in his life. One analysis suggests it offers “various ways in which the reader can rise above adversity that will almost certainly be thrown one’s way” at some point in one’s life.
My father’s name was John Kendal Bingham – Ken to everyone he knew except his mother who insisted on calling him Kendal. He was tall, good looking, and had the proverbial temper ascribed to those with red hair. As an only child, he was indulged by his mother – a woman who should have lived in Victorian times – and no doubt bewildered his mild-mannered father. He was smart, studied engineering at university and graduated in 1943 in the midst of World War Two.
Throughout university he trained in the ROTC – Royal Officer Training Corps – and afterwards served two years as a lieutenant training soldiers in signals work. Dad was scheduled to go to the Asian theatre of war and married my mother just before leaving for special training in the US. He never did go overseas and later had a successful career in the Canadian telephone and telecommunications industry.
Dad was a man of integrity. He worked and played with gusto, had a great sense of humour, loved his family, supported his friends, and was a dedicated man of faith. I miss him every day and often think of how intrigued he would have been with the way technology permeates every aspect of our life. In the mid-sixties he managed a research team that was looking at the concept of ‘picture-phones’ where instead of just hearing someone speak, you could also see the person. And now we have tools like FaceTime.
In today’s climate, we might take exception to the maleness of the poem, however, I believe we can take Kipling’s thoughts and interpret them to suit us all.
Dad – this one’s for you, with love.
PS – the word ‘loose’ should be ‘lose’.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.