On this day last year, my father made his last ever trip to Brisbane.
After spending nearly two weeks in hospital in my childhood hometown he was transferred here by air. My aunt and uncle watched him being loaded onto a Royal Flying Doctors’ Service plane. Little did they know that their own glimpse of him, captured via iPhone, would be the last time they were to see him.
After he’d settled into hospital here and undergone even more tests, doctors eventually discovered the cancer which had already spread through his body.
Yesterday, 20 September 2012, would have been mum and dad’s 49th wedding anniversary. When I called last night she and I talked about last year’s anniversary and (when reminded of the date) my dad fretting he had no card for his wife of 48 years.
This time a year ago we didn’t know that dad would only have a month to live.
Would we have done anything differently? Probably not.
My mother camped out at the hospital for the entire six weeks he was there. Although we were all visiting daily towards the end and he’d been in a coma for six days, mum spent his last night with him in Palliative Care. She heard his last breath.
As the first anniversary of his passing approaches, I must confess that things feel a little raw.
I finished up at work today. My place is on the market, I’ve accepted an offer but am waiting to hear about building and finance issues. And… I’ve started looking at places in my future home-to-be – Hervey Bay. Understandably my moods are bouncing from numbness to excitement to an inexplicable urge to cry.
But it’s done. I’m about to start the next phase of my life.
Naturally risk-averse, I’m pretty sure my dad would have been nervous about the decisions I’m currently making. He would have loved to have me closer, but worried about my future.
What I do know though, is that he’d want me to be happy.
So that’s what I’ll be.