Sadly my father lost his battle with ALS (a form of Motor Neurone Disease, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease in the US) last week. His last couple of months were uncomfortable and painful for him, so whilst we are all grieving and missing him terribly, it is a comfort to us that he is no longer in pain.
Although he was not a father who you could sit down and have a 'heart to heart' with, I know that he was proud of his family, and that he would have done anything to stay with us all just a little longer.
His big gift to me has been the inheritance of his love of history; we were both especially interested in the Tudor era. The fascination of Henry VIII and all his wives, the architecture of the period and for me at least, the costume. Dad marvelled at the fact that I had started Historika, and was finally happy doing something I adored. And as the micro business grows and changes, I know that he will be there, somewhere, encouraging me.
This last week and a half has been tough, not surprisingly. But the thoughtfulness, kindness and love from others towards us as a family has been so uplifting. With friends nearby dropping what they were doing to help my mum get everything done that has to be done, to my godmother coming over from Las Vegas for the funeral in 2 weeks, to the wonderful friends I have made on etsy, especially those from the 'Positivity Team'; a BIG thank you to those wonderful, kind hearted people, those that have of course, been through similar pain, and know just how hard it all is.
And so as much as I feel like screaming at the world at the moment, angered by the very fact that he (or anyone) had to go through this wretched disease, having my hand held by loved ones makes me able to get through each day and remember my dad as a truly wonderful man and father. When I was very little and upset, he used to say 'do you want a cuddle?', and I would clamber up onto his lap and sit there until I felt so much better about the world.
Part of me feels like one of those cuddles right now, although if he were here I don't think he could quite manage me on his lap these days!!
And hold me yet... awhile?
Lights' encumbered fall becomes another step too far behind to reach me,
Yet not forgetting,
That I was ever here.