For Father’s Day

Charles 7 Comments

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. 


  1. Charles

    Oh how your words connected with me Kitty. I still think of my dad every day – it is 27 years now since he died. I held his hand, my young baby under my other arm, and he squeezed it so tightly. He too walked on water. But on the night he died, I was sitting rocking my baby in the rocking chair in the nursery – it was a 3am feed. I was settling him down. I had been awake for about half an hour by this time so was as alert as you can be at 3am. I clearly saw my dad at the door to the nursery – fit and well again. Young, standing erect (he had been paralysed for 15 years) and he put his thumb up at me as if to say ‘everything’s alright’. Fanciful? Maybe, but I am not a fanciful person. Whatever I saw, it settled me and I slept well after that. All of you who have lovely dads, go give them a hug from me.

    1. Charles

      Fanciful or not, it shows what a strong and enduring presence he is in your life. I was moved to hear Justin Rose on the radio this morning talking about his dad and paying tribute to him. How lucky we are to have those thoughts and feelings.

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