Ten years ago today, I lost my Dad. We were on holiday down in Cornwall and had planned to go to the Eden Project. After a busy day, touring Mousehole, and Penzance way we had a light tea and he went to bed at about 9.30pm, not unusual as the dogs were awake at 6am for a walk.
This particular morning, I woke first, let the dogs out into the garden and called out did he want a cup of tea. No answer, and with a tight feeling in my stomach I went into his room.
He was lying on his back, his left hand on top of the quilt. He looked as though he were asleep but I knew better.. sometime during the early hours of that morning he had slipped the earthly bounds and left behind the shell.
I knew he would have been happy at the manner of his passing, but not the timing. He wouldn't deliberately have chosen to leave me 300 miles away from home with no-one around, but the gentleness of his passing was joyous to me. After Mum had died ten years previously, he had always said he wanted to go quickly and I believe he had his wish.
A blur of police and questions later, I was allowed to go home and set off back to the Back of Beyond.. I had two elderly jack russells to keep me company and it wasn't until I got to within two miles of the house I felt the tears start.
My brother Zeltus was there to meet me, as were neighbours and yet I felt as though Dad was not that far away from me in spirit. The polytunnel was his domain, and sometimes I felt that if I turned quickly I would see him working with his beloved plants.
Ten years on, things have changed, it took me 6 years after his death to come back to Cornwall and to visit the Eden Project and I fell in love with Portreath and Redruth... another two years and I was living here and yet I think Dad would have approved.. A visit from my Uncle Peter last November allowed me to talk about the maternal side of my family with him and helped to explain much of what I knew of my grandfather...I have an offer anytime I like to visit them in Australia and I hope very much to do so.
To Dad, I still miss you daily, but somehow you have passed along your green fingers to me for fuschias and I have started my collection... Love you xx