I think I’ve mentioned before that our lives have resembled a poorly put-together soap opera with twists and turns, pathos and downright “You couldn’t make it up” sections. I have been speaking to my Dad quite a bit lately. He phoned me to tell me he was having blood tests and these showed he had prostate cancer. It was difficult talking on the phone because my voice can be almost non-existent some days and Dad was a little hard of hearing so the calls could be frustrating for both of us but it was nice to hear what he was doing and for him to ask about my family. He went into hospital at one point with suspected pneumonia and then came home for a short while. He was frustrated because he had pains in his leg and couldn’t breathe properly and Dad was someone who walked a lot. He said if only his leg didn’t hurt and he could breathe properly there was nothing wrong with him. Sadly he was taken back into hospital again and diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Mr Mason and I started making plans to visit when we heard from my brother that Dad wasn’t expected to last the month and that he had MRSA. I spoke to Dad’s nurse to ask if they were barrier nursing him and she confirmed this but also told me Dad was an MRSA carrier.Mr Mason and I spent two or three days talking to medical staff as to whether I could go or not. My consultant was worried, particularly because I am on active treatment but said he would not stop me seeing my Dad but that I should be prepared to have a spell in hospital afterwards, even if I took all the sensible precautions.
It’s taken me from May until now to try and complete this one blog entry. We decided to go on the Monday and, as things often are, he died on the Saturday afternoon before we could get there. I genuinely cannot remember who gave me the news but I knew from what he’d said on the phone that he didn’t want to hang around long and he was with family to the end. I just don’t feel like going into the following weeks as they seemed more painful than they need to have been, families being what they are. I’ve been taking a long time to finish this one piece of writing, still unsatisfied with it but glad it’s off the table so I can genuinely move on to better and more important themes.
My dad could be a funny man, still singing songs he and his friends made up around 80 years ago and with which I could still have joined in. Night night, dad.