My father passed away about 7 years ago after a 2 year struggle with cancer. In my life I never saw him being sick once, we never had to go visit him for some operation in a hospital. The one time he was not feeling well was just after Christmas. My mom took him to see a doctor and let me know a day afterwards that it was not good. I was at work when the call came through and I was devastated. Dad had colon cancer. In the two years that followed we were in and out of hospital visits. At one stage I took of from work to go help just after he had his first chemo treatments. It was not a pretty sight. I have had countless nightmares of it. I loved my dad (I still do) and miss him and his sayings and his voice each and every day. His birthday would have been on October 8th. My dad was an easy person to get along with and well loved by everyone I got to know through him.
Today’s poem is what I wrote and read out in front of a fairly packed church at his mourning service. I balled my eyes out reading the words following beneath. It was about three pages. Some words I had to force out through my crying (I am a realy bad crying person when the emotion hits..). This was the first and only ever time anyone I knew would have heard me read my own words. Some of my dad’s friends have known me since I was in diapers. I was approached later that evening by a few people saying; “we were all fine Dave, then you went and picked up the mic”. I guess exactly what I was going through in that time came out as I read, knowing all this gave me some closure. Being beside my dad when he exhaled his last breath also helped. Knowing that we had enough time to “say goodbye” even though you never wanted to do so. I sometimes think I have some of his characteristics and mannerisms that come through from time to time in that way and others I always still feel that he is not too far away from me. Even though my first language is Afrikaans and the church where the service was held is also Afrikaans, I wrote an English poem because I wrote better in it than my own mother tongue (in my opinion).
This poem is personal, I will not be asking anyone or telling anyone to “enjoy”it, as it is not that type of poem. I merely felt like sharing as October always brings back the memories of my Dad. I would like to take this time as well to say to my mom and two brothers: you are always in my thoughts. I know we live far away from one another now, but I love you all. I get sad at times thinking how divided we are now, but it does not change the fact that I love you. Heres to you Dad…
This will probably turn out to be
a sentimental eulogy.
A few additions will probably made as well,
because there will always be something more to tell.
The person I write this to:
Fairest white hair-eyes bluest blue
– Father –
There aren’t enough words to describe You…
Been there since day one.
Been patient,always been strong.
Strong in a way i can only hope to be one day.
Never will I be just like you,but i look up to You in that way…
Knowledgeable- beyond comprehension wise,
loving, caring, always on our side.
Never have I wished Life to be more fair,
for You, these last two years, this I feel is so unfair.
My thoughts trail…
To You every day.
Can’t imagine all the pain-
yet you bit down, till it took You away.
Still find it hard to believe.
That You had this burden, this grief.
Saddens my Heart to the core,
that I could do nothing to ease this sore.
Never in my life have I seen You sick,
this experience has been my first
and I fear it has turned out for the worst.
Was hard to see You this way,
hard to come to terms with “their” efforts- all in vain.
Yet Your head,You held high.
Humble- Always- Humble
Never made out to be who You were not,
“what they see, they got”.
Never have I seen You stumble.
But I’ve seen Your tears,
first time in my 25 years
and I did not know what to do,
but bow my head and put my arms round You.
We will get through.
I believed, believed there was still help for you…
You let it be known,
the love You held was shown,
I am testimony to that.
Taught me what I know today,
shown me guidance in your own way.
Silent gestures- sayings-jokes and all,
I stand here proud- Stand here tall.
This is for You Father- all for You,
knowing I have my moments-
but never meant to dissapoint You…
Farewell -Sleep well – Rest in Peace
This was taken about a year before he passed away. We were at a friend of mine’s 30th.