24th March Sunday 2013.
Today was like any other Sunday. I woke up happy and ready to face the day. Lazy mornings and music. Smiles and laughter through the morning. Bacon sandwiches and coffee with the man I love. The one you gave me away to at my wedding. I remember looking forward to seeing you and mum, as we packed the car as we did every Sunday and set off on our journey to have some much loved family time. With you and mum and my sisters and brother. I remember seeing daffodils peering though the snow. Little lambs in the field. And so much snow on the way. We got to your house and started up the driveway and got stuck in the snow. So I walked up the track to see you at the house. I had no worries, it was only snow. I needed a shovel and I knew you would have just the right tool so I could fix this problem. Like you had helped me learn how to fix all my problems. All I ever had to do was ask you dad and you would know a way. You were already at the door before I even knocked, waiting to greet me with a smile. You got the shovel and offered to dig us out. But I said no it’s ok we will do it. It was very cold and I didn’t want you to have to be out in it. I took to action and dug my hubby’s car out of the snow. And he parked the car. I then realised that all the track was full of snow. I didn’t want you to have to dig it all on your own. So I got to work and cleared all the snow off your drive. I felt so happy because I was able to help you for a change and look after you. You gave me such a smile of gratitude and you said I must take after you. Some of the best words I’ve ever heard you say. I take after you, my dad and if I do I feel so happy to be a reflection of who you was. The rest of the day was a normal but enjoyable family day. Talking, watching country music on tv, watching Ken dodd or morcombe and wise or Kenny Everett on tv. Laughing alot, with all my family. Enjoying mum’s delicious food. All of us sat round the table. Just as it should be. I was happy and content. Life was as it should be. I remember thinking that some day soon there would be a new grandchild sat at the table for you. My baby as that was my next plan. None of you knew of course but me and my hubby. I had always wanted you to have a relationship with my baby. I remember as it got after 9pm. You told me you were going to bed now and said goodnight pet. I gave you a hug and said goodnight dad. Nothing was a miss. Everything was right and normal. Predictable even. It had been a perfect day.
27th March Wednesday 2013.
Today was a normal work day for me. Early mornings, kissed my hubby goodbye as he left for work. I enjoyed the walk through the lovely woodlands to work. Listening to all the birds. I got the tea room all nice and clean and then started on my other jobs. Suddenly I noticed I had a missed call and a message from mum. I thought this was strange as she never calls me especially when I’m at work. So I listened to the message. My heart sank as I heard my sister say the words dad has had a heart attack and has been taken to hospital. I remember feeling so dizzy and sick. I was shaking and I walked along the cobbled courtyard to the offices where my boss would be. I got through the door, they looked at me and saw on my face that something was wrong. And asked what’s wrong? I just burst into tears and tried to make myself say I’ve just been told my dad has had a heart attack and is in hospital. They were so nice and caring. They let me ring my sister, she told me how you had collapsed on the landing and they rang an ambulance, and they had taken you to the hospital. They thought you had had a heart attack. She then told me not to worry. Being the baby of the family, i know they all wanted to look after me and shelter me from the pain. I remember someone at work telling me that they had had a heart attack before and he turned out to be ok, was looked after and out of hospital in no time. Ok i thought, i have hope. So my hubby picked me up from work and we set off straight to the hospital to see you. When i got the hospital, we had to wait in the family room. My sisters were there and my brother. My mum came in and she was crying. It was so heartbreaking to see my mum like that, i hugged her and also joined her in crying. We took it in turns to see you. I remember you being in a lot of pain, trying to fight the doctors, like you didnt know what had happened, or where you were. I had never seen you in a hospital bed before. We were told that you had pnumonia and this had caused your heart attack. We stayed with you all day and the doctors did all they could to look after you. Or thats what we thought. Eventually we had to go home and we all kissed you and gave you a hug goodbye. It was very distressing seeing you like this, but we had hope, the doctors seemed hopeful that you would be coming out in a few days or so.
28th March Thursday 2013.
As soon as we were ready and able we came straight to the hospital to see you. You seemed to be doing better today. I remember you trying to joke a little. You still needed a mask on over your face to help you breath. I remember helping mum to feed you. It felt so strange to be feeding you. But i was glad i could be there for you. My sister noticed that the nurses had not changed your catheter and it was full of blood. You were wrentching in pain. My sister was very cross about that, as she had told them a few times before about it being full. The doctors eventually sorted it out and gave you whatever medicines you needed. Finally you seemed relaxed and comfy and yourself. It was evening and we were told we had to go. I held your hand and said we have to go now dad, will you be ok? Are you comfy now? You answered “yes pet, im comfier than ive been since i came in” i thought good, the medicines must be working, you must be on the mend. I gave you a hug and a kiss and said i will be back again tomorrow dad. You looked at me with a smile and said “you’re coming back tomorrow pet?” i smiled and said yes i promise i will be coming tomorrow. I asked if we should stay, the doctors and nurses all said that you would be ok. You would be well enough to come home in few days. We should go home and get a good sleep. So that is what we did, And how much i wish i had stayed by your side and not gone home that night. We had tea at mums that night, and we all started to feel hope and relief that you were getting better, you would be coming home and things would be fine again.
29th March Friday 2013.
I remember waking up at home with my hubby. I remember smiling and laughing and feeling like a weight was lifting, you would be ok. I was looking forward to coming back to see you. Then i got a phone call and it was my brother. He told me that you had died at 8am that morning. I couldnt speak, i couldnt do anything, i gave the phone to my hubby and i burst into tears. I felt like i had been speared through the heart. I have never felt so crushed. Hearing the words that my dad had died, That you had died, you had gone, it was so wrong. No this wasnt supposed to happen, they said you were going to be coming home. They promised. They wouldnt let me stay with you, they stole my last night with you. I could have watched you and got them to save you. I should have stayed. I was in bits. It was like having a limb torn off. We made our way to the hospital, mum, sisters and brother, my niece. We all had to come and see you in the chapel of rest. I was dreading it, i didnt wanr ir to be true. The time had come to see you. We walked in and you were laid on a table, a red velvet looking blanket over you. You were just asleep, you looked like you were asleep. You were gone, i couldnt believe it. I remember crying, we all were and we all said goodbye to you. Mum kept stroking your head, she wanted me to hold your hand, but i couldnt, i was scared you would feel cold, and that wasnt you. You were warm and full of life and that was the memory i wanted. The last time i held your hand you was alive and warm. Like all the times you used to hold my hand when i was a little girl, taking me to school or the shops. It felt so surreal. It shouldnt have happened. You were one of the fittesr people i knew. My world fell apart. I remember crying so much for a long time afterward. I wasnt ready to let you go. We had to leave you there and go home. The death certificate said pnumonia, heart attack, septacemia. I couldnt help wonder if the spetacemia was from the catheter. But we will never know, at the end of the day maybe you was ready to go. Maybe you missed your mum since you lost her when you was 20. You had been through alot in your young life. But you were always the most loving, kindest dad to us. You raised us 5 kids in best way anyone could. And i will always be grateful for all you gave me and taught me. One day i will tell my little boy all about you. How i wish you could have met my little boy. I think you would be very proud of him. So i promise to be the best mum i can be to him, like you were the most wonderful dad to me. And i will cherish every day i have with him. 26 years with you went too fast. I wish you could have stayed in my life for longer. I will always miss you and i dont think i will ever heal from this scar i carry around in my heart. But the scar is linked with all the memories of you, and there couldnt be sweeter pain than that. Goodbye dad.