In Memory of my Dad
I know I am lucky, I awake every morning and as I pull back my bedroom curtain this is the view I am greeted with...
These hills and moorland bring me a strange comfort, each and every season offers up its own show of colour, the last month I have watched the moors turn from a rich, almost surreal green to a bleak and barren rust. The leaves in my garden have nearly all dropped now except for the evergreens, revealing more of the nearer hills. Yes these hills bring me comfort, this place I call home.
As I type, its early evening, the wind is howling around the house, the rain is lashing on my kitchen window, I have a pot of Earl Grey Tea and a little crochet project to hand, the babes are fast asleep and the house is quite allowing me to listen to the weather beating against my home.
Tonight I sit and think of my Dad, its five years since I sat by his bedside, his last night on earth. I find it hard to believe that the time has flown by and yet if I shut my eyes I am in his hospice room with him, a soft light glows in the corner of the room, the smells and the sound of the the comings and goings going on outside that little room...its carved into my memory, its so vivid. I lost my Dad to cancer over a period of six weeks he went from being a strong and creative man to a shell of himself, I watched his body fail him and painfully shut down, I had to listen hard as his speech slurred towards the end, I spent the night by his bedside, scared, unsure of my ability to care for his needs and praying for his peace. Its a night I reflect on with contrasting emotions.
I paced his room when he was conscious, I talked about the moon, a full moon on a clear night, knowing that he will never see such a sight again. As the night wore on and I curled up in the chair next to him, stirring at every movement and sound, we would make eye contact and through his pain he would 'wink' at me. Its a night I want forget, I don't want to, it was a privilege to have spent such a personal time with him.
The following day with his immediate family around his bed he passed away, he fought it all the way. Its the worst experience of my life, watching someone you love pass away. Watching someone you love go through more pain than you could imagine. Its also the most intimate experience, those hours with my Dad and the weeks before, when everyone had gone home I would sneak in and see my Dad on my own, we talked, we laughed we shared information about our lives that we never knew about. It was special. I feel blessed that I was able to say everything I wanted to, we argued over silly things, we laughed about previous upsets and silly things that go on within a family.
My Dad and I often rowed, not big rows we just disagreed a lot. It took his passing to see that my Dad and I were so similar. I type with sadness in my heart, however I also feel great affection, I remember the hours we spent talking about photography, he gave me his beloved camera whilst he went into hospital, I would take pictures and then take them into show him, he would tell me if they were good or bad, how I should have thought about the light, the background etc... he passed on something special to me, he gave me a gift above the materal. With every click of his camera it was as if his hand was over mine...'Do it like this Suzie' 'Look at the light Suzie' 'No No its all wrong' 'Perfect Suzie' I could hear him guide me. My Mom wanted the camera back after his passing as she also understood his love for his camera. I gave it up with a heavy heart. You now though, if I really listen, if I look at the moon when it shines in its fullness, I don't need his camera, his voice is all around...
I love you Dad, I miss you like nothing else, my boys are doing fabulously and oh how you would love them. Rest in peace and may you feel the wings of the angels around you. I love you.