Posted by Kitty
My dad died when he was 70. Just a few years earlier, he had been diagnosed with leukaemia. It was my sister who realised that something was wrong. He was yellow. He hadn’t noticed. Too busy enjoying his well-earned retirement.
His doctor told him he would die with it rather than from it. However, were it not for the underlying illness, he wouldn’t have contracted the septicaemia which finished him off. He was shopping in town when he slipped and fell. Typical of Dad, he refused any help from kind passers-by, picked himself up and walked home.
Purely by luck, I visited him the following morning. I took one look at him and called an ambulance. A few minutes later he was on his way to hospital.
He died twelve hours later. He was fully conscious, chatting and joking with us – his two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. He didn’t ask what we were all doing there in the middle of the night.
The line between life and death is heartbreakingly thin.
I’ll never forget what he said to me a few weeks before he died, because it was one of the best things he could have said.
‘I’ve had a great life.’
One of the songs we played at his funeral was Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
Today is Father’s Day. And I’ll be outside, whatever the weather, because he wouldn’t have stayed in feeling sorry for himself.
And I loved him and he loved me.
And lord, I cried the day he died,
’cause I thought that he walked on water.