We all take our parents for granted. They are usually the one stable part in our lives. A Mother and Father who belong to us alone. They are the one's who we say goodbye to in the mornings, and hello to when we return. They are our rock-solid foundation.
But one day we have to say goodbye for ever, and it's a horrible part of our lives. The very source of our lives is no longer there. It's a shock.
I was with my Mother when she died, but not with Father. He had been suddenly transferred to a different hospital, which was much further away, and had died in the night. Somehow his death became very unreal.
My own Fathering skills, and my Father's were very different. My Father had been 41 when I was born. I must have been about 23 when my oldest was born. He was a 'bystander' Father, a very typical Father of his time. I, on the other hand, liked to get involved; we played Cricket, we swam in lakes together, we ate out a lot, we travelled, and we had a really great time.
I do miss my Father; I've begun to realise this the older I get. He was somewhat aloof and 'old school', but he did his utmost for his two children. We were away for most of our childhood days, so we didn't see that much of him. For his holidays he preferred mountains and hills, whereas we headed for beaches and sunshine with my Mother. I remain very grateful to him for his generosity, and I try to remember him as often as I can.
One of my close neighbours here has recently died, and yesterday I went to see both her daughter and husband. The woman in question had been a long term friend and was also teacher to my children. I'm afraid that returning here has delivered quite a few shocks about people's health and their family situations. There's a lot of change in the air, and as most families are farmers, I'm not sure what the future will bring. C'est la vie.