Nat Temple Page

Nat Temple, the father

by Mandy Dyer

Daddy was - quite simply - The Best.

The Best father, our best friend. He was our Rock, our Sanctuary, our Hero.

We - his 4 girls - grew up in an atmosphere of love, laughter, and wonderful music (which is probably why it took us so long to actually leave home!) We have so much to be grateful for but we've managed to narrow the list down to some very personal, treasured memories.

Thank you for falling in love with Mum all those years ago, and proving wrong, the doubters who said it would only last 6 months! You were still married and in love 62 years later.

Daddy - thank you for your wonderful stories "Willy the Worm", "Katie Caterpillar" and "Merlin the Magician" - stories you wrote for us as children and which we never tired of hearing.
Thank you for your "Surprise Cupboard" where you would keep the little gifts that you collected from your gigs and which you would find any excuse to give us.
And thank you for your general knowledge quizzes as we went for "an old man's trot" around the block.
And despite saying "no animals" - thank you for sharing your life with dogs, cats, horses, budgerigars, terrapins, newts, a tortoise - and tanks full of tropical fish.
Thank you for letting us plait your hair, wrap it up in elastic bands, perform somersaults on your tummy and cheat in the egg and spoon race.
Thank you for pretending to be the voice of the fairies as we drove over the magic bridge in the Isle of Mann.
Thank you for showing us the meaning of unconditional love, for never judging us and always praising our achievements, however small or insignificant. For consistently making us feel valued.
Thank you for your easy going nature - and your ability to play "dumm" for a quiet life - like the time when Mum changed the colour of the roses in the front garden from pink to orange, and she thought she had convinced you that she hadn't bought new ones, she had merely had them dunked in orange "sheep-dip".
And thank you for being so utterly hopeless with anything domestic, allowing us 4 to practice our mothering skills on you.
Thank you for showing us the value of money, for teaching us to save up for what we wanted, and to have goals and dreams. And to never ever give up on those dreams.
Thank you for your words of wisdom - "Trust no-one", "Remember you're a Temple" and "Don't upset your Mother".

Thank you for your integrity, and your humility, your modesty and Your dignity. Your laughter and your passion for life.

And your wit. "Hide The Silver" you'd cry as any guest arrived. And "Thank you for going" as they left.

And where do we start to thank you for your music? Those dots and dashes. And those immortal words which we heard time after time ."Just going next door for a blow!"
And your strange musicians language. What exactly does "Skinny Miney on a Beedle um bow" actually mean?
And for your unique filing system. Where else would you find "Musicians" under "C" for contacts, and under "N" find "Nat Temple is allergic to Penycillin?"
Thank you, too, for those wonderful Temple Genes - to Lynda you gave your skinny legs: to Susan, your extraordinary wide rib-cage; to Nikki, your non-existent top lip - and Eczema, and I got your moustache and dodgey eyebrows!

Thank you for your incredible sense of humour which knew no bounds - even in your last few weeks when we were falling apart, you were still joking with the district nurses about charging them for the privilege of changing your catheter.
And thank you for letting Benjamin pretend your specially adapted bed was really a space-ship which he steered around the planets to land on the moon.
Thank you for the strength you showed us after we lost Mum. Deep down we knew that all you wanted to do was to be with her, but you stayed with us for three full years, and allowed us to care and look after you - and even hire Werner, (or Nurse Vermin as you preferred to call him) the best looking South African carer we could find to do the heavy stuff!
And thank you for letting us know when the time was right for you to leave and join Mum in Heaven. It's no co-incidence that you left us on Shabbus when her fried fish and chicken soup would have been at its best. How you'll be able to explain what took you so long doesn't bear thinking about. We just hope the cheesecake hasn't curdled.
Dad - you're within us, and around us; You're the Sun and the Moon. The wind beneath our wings.
Our hearts are broken at losing you and we love and miss you more than words can say.

Good Night Sweetheart. See you in the Morning.