Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Father, in Loving Memory

31.10.1936 – 05.03.10

My father is gone, My father is dead.

It was quick, perhaps too quick. He went to bed, he slept for a bit, he got up, he went back to bed, It sounded like he was having a nightmare, maybe 30 seconds, by the time the light was turned on he was gone.

So simple. The towns on-call medical person came, he did his upmost. The ambulance came, they did their best.

He was gone. Perhaps a god-send. We don’t know the cause, perhaps we never will.

I am glad it was so quick. To be trapped in a body that didn’t work and to have a mind fully-functional, I could only imagine as being a living death.

I am going to miss him, my children will miss him. My mother will miss him. There will always be an empty place at the table.

My father enjoyed his food. I knew he wasn’t well on Sunday when he refused his favourite, Spotted Dog (bread and butter pudding with sultanas) with oodles of cream. In fact he didn’t eat well at all, but that is not unusual. No-one thought much of it – everyone is allowed an ‘off’ day once in a while.

Looking back over the week, I think he knew, add the information I knew with the information that people told me when I made the dreaded phone-calls, added up to he KNEW. HE KNEW something was wrong.

He had started visiting extended family, long lost relatives. People he had perhaps not spoken to in decades. Looking back it should have been a sign. But you don’t put two and two together until after the fact.

18 hours ago, I received THE call. 18 hours later I feel nothing. No emotion, just black, almost blank inside. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling or even if.

The last 12 months of his life have probably been the hardest of his entire life. His health was as good as could be expected for his age, but he lost over 30 people in one dreadful night, he lost his town, he lost everything he had known for 40 years. I think it broke his heart, I think it broke his soul.

My father came to the big smoke to finish his education, he met my mother, he married my mother. He owned and ran a business. He opted for a tree-change and moved into a small milling town. He ran the mill office, my mother ran the small holiday accommodation business they set up. He ‘retired’ from the mill to concentrate on the accommodation business, which my parents ran together for almost 25 years. They sold that business barely 12 months before the fires destroyed it for them. They were starting to enjoy life, take holidays and being S.K.I.’s (Good on them I say!, they worked for it)

Both my parents were an integral part of the community. My father played a major part in establishing the town water supply, the sewerage system, the tourism board. He maintained the water supply and the associated quality checks. Many nights he was called out to repair broken mains and would come home early in the morning, covered in red mud from the armpits down. He was trustee for the cemetery and buried many of the people who were lost in the fires. He was part of the community, the community a part of him. When the community was destroyed, a large part of him was also destroyed.

I may not have had a chance to say good-bye – But I am thankful he didn’t suffer.

And…………….. now the tears start.

**Kiss & Hug those you love,**
**because tomorrow you may not have the chance**

Yes I poured my heart out and now I can feel the pain – It does help to talk – even if to a piece of paper.



  1. Oh dear, so sad.

    So beautiful

    As long as he knew you loved him and he loved you.

    My thoughts are with you and your family

    Take care and many hugs

  2. So sorry to hear that your Dad has passed away.
    Big hugs for you, look after and be kind to yourself.

  3. Sorry to hear. You have written a very nice tribute to him. His world had changed and perhaps he just did not want to be here anymore.

  4. Oh hon. My heart goes out to you & your family at this time of sorrow.
    Take care & sending you loving hugs

  5. Thank-you everyone - sorry it has taken me so long to respond - just.......................


  6. Thinking of you and your family.

  7. A big hug for you. I can't begin to know how you feel. I just know how I felt when I lost my dad. Time they say, is a great healer and just remember, that although we've never met, my thoughts are with you during this time.

  8. :'( :'( :'( just got your email hun, sitting here with tears rolling down my face, felling so much for you and your mum, family, everyone who cared, who nmattered.

    Words cannot begin to express how sad I am for you hun (((huggles))), but that doesn't seem enough:( I wish I was closer to you to give them to you in person:'(

    OMG, still can't believe it:'( This man larger than life to have gone through so much, to be gone so quickly!

    My love, thoughts and prayers to you & your family, and I know my family send the same, as well as Tess.. Will ring soon hun, take care, love you heaps, miss you more, Joy xoxoxoxo