Category : Books-Non-Fiction
Sub Category : Biography
I can't pretend I amn't hurt. I can't deny reality. It's been four months now and I've seen the last of my parents pass away. Sometimes years have separated each tragedy but then it comes along again and stings. I'm not accustomed to it and I imagine no-one would be. It's been four months since my Foster mother passed away. She was the last one to go. She lived to be sixty-five years old, or young. I tend to think of sixty-five as young these days. I know men and women who still run marathons at sixty-five and even older.
However, this is not the measure of a great human. What we remember. Is the kindness. What we're blessed with is the memory of kindness and love that radiated outwards from her even during trying times. I don't figure I know yet where she got the strength from. Within our memories, so long as we have them, her spirit lives. Her name is Ann.
She passed four months ago now. Her story was told to me, by her, during the evenings where it was just us, outside in the back garden, sitting side by side and watching the sun go down and listening to the last of the bird calls.
As I grew older, I loved listening to her. I found tremendous wisdom in her words and I'm sure she found some comfort in someone who was also present to listen. She lost her husband, my Foster father, Patrick, in June 2006. He was a man often weighed down by clinical depression. My memories of him have faded slightly over the years. I do remember that he slept a lot. Despite his hard work, computer smarts and exceptional knowledge of history, he took to lying down a lot. Sometimes it was days on end. I didn't even think it was strange at that time. I was only twelve years of age when, in hindsight, his battle with depression resurfaced and it came back with a vengeance, so I was told.
These were two of the best parents a child could have asked for. They sacrificed a lot for myself and my sister, Paula.
He didn't have an easy life. For the sake of this story I will refer to Ann and Patrick as my parents. To me, they were. I didn't know any different. My mother loved to talk about her husband for hours. I would listen and think why I could never find a love like that. They shared twenty six years together before he passed away. That kind of friendship and love between two people seemed foreign to me. I could never make a relationship with a woman last beyond a year. That's a sign of the times, maybe.
2006 was a strange year. It was also the year my birth parents passed away. My real mother's name was Hazel and my real father's name was Peter. I was told by a social worker that Hazel had passed away due to a brain haemorrhage in her sleep. At the time, I didn't care. A woman who I had met a handful of times against the suffocating loss of Patrick, back to back, was hand but I mourned for Patrick much more deeply. He was on my mind a lot.