Wednesday, 17 July 2013

In Memory of my Godfather

On the 27 June 2007 my Godfather was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour. We were told that he had 12 to 18 months to live.  Two weeks later, they told us that he had six months to live. 

He took his last breath on the 18 July 2007.

Our family lost a character.  He wasn't perfect, by any stretch of the imagination.  He was flawed but he was beautiful.  He had weaknesses, namely the horses and the drink, but he was wonderful in his own right.

My Godfather was never a constant presence in my life.  He would come in and out of it from time to time, always leaving me with the feeling that he was proud to be my Godfather.

I would love to say that he is in my thoughts and I feel the loss of him every day since he passed, but that would not be true.  Just as it was during his life, he comes in and out of my thoughts and I feel the loss of him randomly.

In the weeks leading up to his death we all, as a family, tried to spend as much time with him as we could. Some of my favourite memories of him are of us laughing in Beaumount at one thing or another. Mostly at my Godfather and Himself joining forces and slagging me off.  One of his favourite things to say to me was "what did I ever do to deserve a godchild like you"... depending on what had happened in the previous moments depended on whether he meant it in a good or not so good way!!
His death was one of the saddest things that has ever happened in my life. Even now, 6 years on, I feel an ache in my heart when I think of that time. His funeral was the day before the release of the last Harry Potter book. It was the first time in years that I hadn't gone to a late night book store and bought a Harry Potter new release at mid-night. I bought that last book the morning after his funeral. I read that last book quicker than I have ever read any other book – it took me 10 hours in total. When I bought the book, I got into bed and told Himself that if anyone rang for me, called to the house or wanted to speak to me I was not available.  I was sick, out of action or whatever it was he wanted to tell them. I lay in my bed and avoided the reality of his death by immersing myself in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And when I woke the next day, I hid in that book again. And again. And again. The thought of trying to face the reality of his death was just too hard to take.
But that was 6 years ago now. The ache is still there, but not as raw. When I gave his eulogy, I said that a family is a chain, each person a link that makes it stronger, but now that chain is broken. And that is the truth.  My family and I are blessed. We are lucky enough to still have our beautiful, strong (physically, mentally and emotionally) Grandmother (or Mother, or Great-Grandmother, depending on where you come in the family!) still with us at the grand old age of 85.  She is made of the stuff that role models should be made of and she is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up.  My Godfathers death made me realise how quickly everything can change. Literally in a heartbeat. And it made me appreciate the family I have and the time we get to spend with one another.
Today, I think of my wonderful Godfather and I smile. I smile at his memory, I think of how much he would have loved to see me get married. I remember how he promised he would be there on my wedding day. I hope that he was.
Some people have a specialness about them that allows you to forgive them and love them unconditionally. He was one of those people.
Godfather, if I could have just one more day with you I would make you steak and chips, I would have one more drink with you and I would ask you, what did I ever do to deserve a Godfather like you?

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