>> Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Innocuous things switches really aren't they.
My father has been dead 25 years. I don't think about him a lot any more. He is just my happy memories. Thoughts that make me smile. Silly things that make me laugh.
It's a time of year that always makes me think about him a little more, it's because we are getting close to bonfire night. That was the night I knew that there wasn't long left. As I stood outside watching the fireworks, hovering by the patio doors looking at him inside with the people that sat with him. He didn't really have an interest in the outside, the normal him would have been a part of it. I looked and I knew.
The day he died was a strange and yet familiar one. The usual panic call from my mother to say he had been taken to hospital (again), the bristle from me that I was at work and I would come as I could (He had been ill for many years and this was a routine that meant it felt like a pain in the butt not a worry and that I know I felt that way leaves me with a rotten feeling). And yet I knew.
When I got to the hospital he was talking to us, I fetched him a cup of tea. It all seemed to be going in the usual way.
He was moved to a ward, it was a horrid ward. I don't recall the time between getting him a cup of tea and us still having a joke with each other to the point 2 hours later where he was in a bed, on a horrid ward with curtains drawn around us and dad saying how dark it was and I said 'the light in here is really bad'. It wasn't.
I recall being sat in a room with sofas and a doctor saying we have to decide whether to leave him on life support or not, that he couldn't say what he would be like if they kept him alive etc. I recall saying 'let him go.'
I recall being sat by his bed, watching him take his last breaths. My brother kept tapping him and telling him to keep breathing. I said 'let him go'.
And he went.
And that was it.
And for 25 years I have been fine with the decision. And suddenly this week I wondered what he might have been like if we had fought harder, if we had said no, keep him going. I wondered if he would have been ok with it, would he have still been laughing as I fed him sports biscuits to suck as he couldn't chew a garibaldi!
I've never had that picture of him before, the one he might have been. It's like 25 years of hurt just barrelled me over. It'll pass. For a while.
Recently I lay awake thinking. I was thinking about how I used to lie on the sofa with my head on his lap watching TV. Sometimes I would be so fed up and angry with some one or something and he would stroke my hair and say
'let it go'