|Dad and mum on their 60th wedding anniversary|
Just 2 months before he had been diagnosed with a temporal lobe brain tumour. I was with him when the consultant neurologist broke the news to him, and my dad's reaction was typical in gently denying what the doctor said. In response to the neurologist's prognosis and the inoperability of the tumour, dad gently shook his head in disbelief and simply said, 'I wouldn't be so sure, we'll see.'
What followed was a very gradual decline and a growing loss of independence, which for someone who had been so active until his illness, was accepted with remarkable grace and peace. I was fortunate too be granted regular compassionate leave by my partners which gave me the opportunity to take dad out on at least two afternoons each week. They were simple and yet lovely times, just pottering around and going to garden centres, and once going to Lidl's-which latter had previously been a favourite haunt of dad's.
I can't pretend we enjoyed profound conversations during these times, but just simple conversation, which in many ways summed up the sort of dad that he had been. Faithful, consistent, unassuming, and loyal, a dad to be proud of and to be thankful for. Thanks be to God that I have been blessed with such lovely parents.