On Tuesday 5th of December, Motor Neuron Disease, which has been cripling my wonderful father all year, brought his lungs to a point where even his immense will could not make them go, and killed him.
Our conversations over the past few days have been interspersed with 'oh, we need to tell that person / group of people, they / some of them were really fond of him'. I think pretty much everyone who ever met him was. My siblings and I had a good laugh / cry on Tuesday night trying imagine the one person that didn't like Dad. I've had so many lovely messages from people who met him through me, sometimes only once or twice, and knew how wonderful he was.
I don't want to sound arrogant, but I really love who I am. And so much of that comes from my Dad. He gave me my love of public speaking, of dancing, of games, of logic, of puzzles, a lot of my sense of humour, warmth, love of people, of learning, of words, of music. From him comes my tendency to pick up a new passion or hobby, fall deeply in love with it, and do / practice / learn about it all I can. From him comes my (reasonably) quiet determination, and I believe his was all that kept him alive since the nurses said he could go any minute last Thursday.
Our time with him over the past week was a blessing. It was difficult, and the waiting for an awful but inevitable thing was exhausting. But spending so much time with my immediate family, in a way we haven't done in a long, long time, was beautiful. My brother reckons Dad organised it that way on purpose. He was mostly sleeping, but we had some really lovely moments with him when he was awake.
I am going to miss my Dad terribly. But I will also always have him with me.