Goodbye Dad

My beloved father passed away during the night between Thursday and Friday, at the end of April 2010, and only 2 weeks after my baby girl was born.

He slept quietly in, leaving all his pain behind.  Now he can finally be at peace.  We miss him very much.

My dad was a tough man in my eyes.  He was a true superhero and could withstand most pain.  I remember once when he “shot” a stable into his thumbnail.  He looked at the blood, simply removed it with a small screwdriver and wrapped his finger with some old cloth and tape.  He also managed to cut a wasp in half, in flight, with a pair of scissors.

Unfortunately he was diagnosed with prostata cancer 6 years ago, and fought a very brave battle, always aiming to win.  He hated to lose and always put on a brave face when the kids (and grandkids) were around.  During the six years, my dad only revealed to me a couple of times that he was finding it very hard to keep battling cancer.  What worried him was leaving my mum behind.  They loved each other very much.

The illness and his pain simply became too much for him in the end.

I’m so sorry I wasn’t with him in the last few weeks and that I hadn’t been at his side much, but he knew deep inside that I was looking after him from afar.  We spoke often, 2-3 times a week, so he was fully up to speed on the kids, work, wife, holidays, etc.  Thankfully I got them an iMac, and we used Skype a lot over the years.

My mum kept me up-to-date all the time, even if it wasn’t nice to get bad news, it was still nice to be involved.  She told me that he had his mobile with him in the hospital, so I could ring him whenever I wanted.  He had been given only 6 months to live, and that really bothered me.

How could I ring him, talk to him and pretend everything was ok?

Anyway, I rang him Thursday evening and had a typical father/son chat; “Are they treating you ok?”, “How are the kids?”, “We are fine”.  We never said “love you” to each other, but we didn’t have to either, it was implicit and clear.

We finished the phonecall by me saying, “I’ll see you next week” and him replying “Let’s have coffee together in the house”.  We never got a chance to have coffee, only at his funeral.

A few hours later my mum called to say he was gone.

My World crumbled and yet I had to stay calm so my kids wouldn’t get too upset.  Trying to go back to sleep was just not happening.  I was just laying in the bed starring at the ceiling, thinking about my dad and all the fun we had together.

One of the curses of living abroad is that you cannot be there when you have to.  I cannot change the fact that I live abroad and he would not want me to change it either.  He always told me that I had to look after my family.

He was and is my hero and he has always been there for him.  Now it was my turn to be there for him, when he passed over, helping my mum as much as possible.

Dad, I love and miss you.

Your son

PS: to all my friends.  No matter your religion, please pray for my dad that he had a safe passing and that I’ll meet him again.

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