Cardiologist in padlock

At the entrance of the Beatrix Park near to where we lived was this sign:

As a small girl, I truly believed this sign was made for us personally…me and him.

My father. Strikingly handsome, almost 2 meters, brown hair, blue eyes, and so well dressed in his tailor-made suits and shoes. (to his defence, there weren’t any ready made in his size). I remember him in his baby blue shirt, with cufflinks, and his dark blue tweed costume, with his brown suede brogues. With his Aqua Velva aftershave. And highly successful as a cardiologist, providing a generous life in our big house with garden in the south of Amsterdam. He was my hero.

How could I have guessed that he was totally lost in life, as soon as he couldn’t be the great doctor? That his incapacity to talk, to relate emotionally, would play havoc on our lives? Every problem causing more withdrawal?  I know most of his traumas I think, but today while writing this, is for the first time that I’m able to look behind that façade, his protection shield, and truly understand him.He so much wanted to believe that what he was doing was for the best, and we so much needed to believe him. How I wish he had developed communication skills, and by absence of that, how lonely we all have been. Tragical and unnecessary.

If I would draw him now, it would be a giant with a padlock on his heart, and no connection between head and heart.