I was doing some tidying up this week and I found the card you sent soon after Joseph was born. It was white with a steam train on it. You included the scrap from The Mercury with Joseph's birth announcement on it. It was strange to see your beautiful handwriting again. How I miss you little letters you used to send, with your almost copperplate writing. So sad that evil AMD took your sight. Of all the things for an artist to lose.....
Since I left Australia 13 years ago not a day has gone by that I don't think of you, and since you passed away I think of you more and more. So many of my memories are ones we have managed to make since Joseph was born.
That second trip when mum was still undergoing cancer treatment, but you were relatively well is strong in my mind. My favourite memories are you watching In the Night Garden with Joseph, both of you transfixed. And taking Joseph out for meals when he called all food "cake". And you telling him off for riding his suitcase around the apartment in Melbourne, even though the Trunki designers had designated it for that purpose.
The last trip, just a year ago, was the hardest one I've ever had to do, knowing it would be, more than likely, the last goodbye. Knowing that Joseph would instantly see how poorly you were. He did a soft giggle when he saw you "he looks like a very old premature baby" and it was true. An ill fitting head to keep you warm, and your oxygen tube. I took Joseph to the lovely craft shop opposite the home and he insisted we buy you a "mucky" a crocheted blanket to comfort you and keep you warm.
We made precious memories, taking you for your first walk in your nursing home, showing you the fish, that you could still just make out, and the beautiful sitting room with it's views of the Derwent. I left you baby sitting Joseph under the careful eye of the staff whilst I went out to get things for you.
My gentle caring dad until the end. Grieving for you is so weird, as you weren't part of my every day life, but very much still were right until the end. Knowing I could ring you anytime, especially in the middle of the night, it's hard when I wake anxious or lonely and know that are not there. Seeing my brother Chris was weird the other week. He leapt out of the lift at the wrong floor and did a little yelp exactly the way you used to do. Was strange seeing flashes of you through him.
Joseph talks about you often. He tells me to close my eyes and imagine you are still here, that you haven't gone, that we can pretend you never died.
But you have and it's sad, and I miss you. And 89 is a good age they say, but I don't think you are ever ready to lose a parent. I will miss you until the day I die.