It's all over now, Baby Blue
My dad passed away peacefully at home on 5th December after a long, hard battle with prostate cancer. When he was diagnosed, I remember feeling like the world had collapsed around me. He had just had bypass surgery and was recovering well, but didn't say anything about having problems going to the toilet. By the time he went to see about it, it was incurable. So, gentlemen - if you notice any difference at all you must go and get it checked quickly. Prostate cancer is curable, and a bit of embarrassment is better than years of torture!
Anyway, almost 7 years ago Dad was diagnosed. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters and we're a very close family so we were there for each other, but we also held our own feelings. We ranged from teenagers to twenties so were at different stages in our lives. Dad continued to work for many years, and was still his usual funny and loveable self but when he started a type of hormone treatment he turned into a different person. One that we all (including him) struggled to deal with - he was an emotional wreck, short tempered and felt awful. So, he made a decision to stop the treatment and would go for quality of life, rather than quantity. We thought at that stage it was a matter of time, but he has managed to spend so much time with him that I am eternally grateful to the people that helped him for all those years. My mum is a superhero - she has managed his medication and stopped her own life to love and support him. The NHS staff were wonderful (although he really didn't like the hospital!). Each of us have played a part - I feel honoured to be part of this family; the one that he created.
When I fell pregnant, Dad never thought he would still be here to meet my baby. But he did, and my wee boy is now 5 years old. His Gramps is his hero - they were like best friends. They would watch Fireman Sam or Jake in the mornings, make videos of them singing on YouTube, build lego, read stories and they just loved each other. I'm so happy that my baby will always have memories of his Grampy and we often spoke about how he held on to see all his milestones.
Last week, dad had been in hospital with another infection and he woke up pulling all his tubes and wires out. My mum decided then to take him home because it was where he wanted to be. We've been here before though - 7 years is a long time, and we've been Knocking on Heaven's door a few times in that time. When he got home, he just slept from the Monday and on the Tuesday night I went to his bed and fell asleep with him. He sounded terrible - the breathing was scary but I still wasn't sure he was going. I went to work the next day having booked the following two days off and I'd just walked in the front door when my mum phoned and told me to get back. The grief just took hold of me and I sobbed all the way home. The feeling I had when I walked into his room will never leave me. He looked.........dead. There's no other way to describe it. We all sat with him, crying and holding each other and at times we expected him to sit up and say 'boo' as he was such a joker. But that never happened, He was taken away before the kids got home, then I had to tell my son. I told him that Grampy was unwell and had went to heaven, but would be watching over him all the time. I said that he will be the brightest star in the sky, and we would look for him that night. He cried a bit then cuddled me, but when we went down stairs he ran into his room to find him and was devastated when he wasn't there. He really felt it, and was crying hard for a while which was really hard to watch. We did look for Gramps that night, and there he was - right above the front door; the brightest star in the sky.
The days have went on, and we held an emotional funeral for him on Tuesday this week. Many people came to pay their respects to my Dad, and it was very touching. But now we're all back home, and it's almost Christmas and I don't know what I'm going to do without him. Who will help me (and argue with me) on Christmas Eve when I'm building the toys? Who is my comedy partner now? Who makes my wee boy laugh with his daftness? What does my mum do now - her whole life was him for so long - how does she fill her time? Who do I make my tomato soup for? Who's going to be there when I want to talk? Who am I going to talk about downloading with? I just don't know. Sometimes, it doesn't feel real then it hits me. I see his face the last time I saw him; in his coffin, so peaceful but so cold. I've accepted it but I don't know if I want to move on. He has always been here, and it scares me that the future doesn't have him in it. How can someone who is such a big part of your life just disappear?
You know, since he's been gone I'm sure he's been around. I've always been easy about the thought of a presence or whatever, but there's been a few things that have happened and they have given me a bit of comfort. Just this morning, I was in his bathroom and the lights flickered. It could have just been a flicker, but well, I like to think it was him. A few nights ago I was crying in bed and I felt his touch on my hands.
I'm signing off just now with tears in my eyes and pain in my heart. I don't even know the purpose of this but it feels good to talk about him. Love you always big man xxxx