May 26th, 2009 was a lovely hot sunny day, just like today. The lilac tree in the garden was in full bloom and our huge rhododendron was a blaze of crimson, just like it is today. It was a Tuesday too.
In spite of the loveliness, it was the stuff that nightmares are made of. Mother in hospital for tests; Dad having a heart attack in the early hours of the morning and begging, begging, begging for something to ease his suffering.
Mad dash to the hospital with Dad; Mother then told that he was dying and having a stroke within the hour from which she never recovered consciousness and died 5 days later. Dad didn’t die ~ and went on to live for a further 16 months.
Six years on, it still feels incredibly raw and I suspect that it probably always will.
However, I’m getting better as the years pass at not trying to fight this day and know that there will always be reminders like lilac, the vanilla scent of Clematis Montana; the first rounds of the ice-cream van, lengthening days; deck chairs …..
Mother and Father were extremely close and it came as no surprise to me that she died from the shock of hearing that he was dying. It would have been so fitting for the two of them to go together.
More than anything, now, May 26th whispers words like Hope and Love at me. It also makes me remember that wonderful smile that father gave me when he came around and his words: I’m so glad to see you, Child.
Grown-up children never lose their childishness and parents are always parents.