A date that is imprinted on my mind, forever. It was the day that my father, Len, passed away, aged 65. It was the first loss that I had to endure, and I was only 18 years old at the time.
Dad had cancer, and he withstood it and all the chemotherapy that he had to take, for seven months. A previously fit and healthy man had been reduced to virtually nothing by journey’s end. It was painful seeing him waste away and it was too much to bear for a young adult as I was at the time.
I remember the day he passed very clearly as it was yesterday. It was a warm, cloudy day and my mother and sister were at the hospital all over the weekend. On the Monday, they were still there. I awoke at 6.30 am, in a bit of a daze, not wanting to accept the inevitable.
The day dragged on, until I received the dreaded phone call during the afternoon. Mum and sister came home and I was beside myself with grief, as they were. I cried, probably more in anger than anything, as to why a relatively young man had been taken away by a cruel, cruel illness.
It took me a fair while to come to terms with the death, but I managed to soldier on, as Dad would have wanted. I had to be strong for Mum. She felt the loss just as keenly, if not more, as they had been married for 37 years, and had been together for a few years prior to that. I coped, just about.
I wonder what he would have made of the everyday struggles I put up with now. He would have been sympathetic but probably telling me to ride things out and they will get better. He was taken from me far too young and though time is a great healer in such matters, I will never forget him. He was a great influence on me, though it was only a brief period of 18 years. I don’t want to remember him as the ill man for the last seven months of his life, but for the previous 18 years.
Miss you Dad