Last night, I lost my hero. My dad. The person I look up to.
You were the rock of our family. The caretaker. The constant in our lives. And now, you’re gone. Taken away by one of the most cruel diseases of our time. One that has no cure. Yet, that never got you down…
You worked until the day you were hospitalised. An example of fighting spirit. You were fighting one of the most vicious cancers, and yet you kept going on with your normal life. Most of us don’t have the willpower and spirit you had. I know that I would have given up halfway through. But you didn’t. Perseverance.
Because that is how you grew up… You quit school to help take care of your siblings when your dad couldn’t. He was a less than pleasant man I hear. But yet, you stood up for your brothers and sisters. You cooked. You washed their clothes, ironed them. Stole money from him to buy food. You started working at a stupid young age to take care of them. And that set the tone for the rest of your life…
You worked two jobs for a very long time, to be able to provide everything to your kids that you never had. Education, clothes, a proper house to grow up in. You were truly someone to look up to. A true story of overcoming the odds stacked against you, and making a very good turn for the better. A living example of beating the odds.
You have always been someone everyone could rely on. Because of your tinkering and inventions, you could fix nearly everything. From a toaster to a car. There was no favour too big or too small that people could ask of you. You were always willing to help.
Your friends knew they could rely on you, any day, any time. Your family knew they could rely on you. Nothing was ever a problem for you. You would get in your car and help.
Your dry sense of humour entertained us plenty of times.
You touched so many lives during the years. So much so, that people from all over came to say goodbye at home. Whether it was an old colleague, a neighbour from years ago, a family friend, some distant family… a constant stream of people coming to pay their last respects. So many people, so many lives. You were such a good influence in so many lives.
This year, you and mom would have been married for fifty (!) years. That’s an entire lifetime spent with the one you love.
I don’t know why you had to get sick like this in your final years… The years where you were supposed to rest, and we were supposed to look after you… You never smoked a day in your life, yet the melanoma chose your lungs, your bright brain was affected by it as well. I’m angry that this had to happen to you of all people. You didn’t deserve this.
I do know that wherever you are, you are healthy, and hopefully looking down upon us with a smile, because we are all trying to still make you proud.
I miss you.
25/10/1942 – 17/05/2014