6th. January 2018.
My dear old Dad passed away one year ago today – on the 6th January 2017 at precisely 10:50 am. Today I enjoyed a trip down memory lane with a visit to his favourite town – Okehampton, followed by a bracing walk around his favourite park, Simmons Park, with my son, Tom – his grandson.
A visit to Okehampton is never complete without a rummage around my favourite charity shop – ‘The Fairplace Church’ in the Arcade. It’s a charming, rather old-fashioned type of Charity Shop – quite unique. I’ve been going in there for years – on occasions with Dad. Or he’d wait patiently outside for me to appear with a lovely bargain – such as today’s timely find.
Of course the ‘Light’ came home with me even though I have numerous copies already around my house – I can never have enough ‘Light’ on my walls especially in light of something my father said—or rather didn’t say during his last night. It was his reaction when I asked him who it was that was standing in the corner of his low-lit room that will forever enlighten any sad thoughts I have of his passing from this world to the next.
I couldn’t see anyone there but there was such a strong presence in the room – I pressed my father for an answer. Names of family that had gone on met with little or no response – so I asked him whether it was ‘the man in the picture’. Suddenly – he opened his eyes wide and nodded his head firmly towards the invisible figure – but it was his tight lips that confirmed what I’d asked, especially as he could hardly speak come the end. Suddenly he’d recognised the stranger waiting in the wings to collect him come morning light. In that unforgettable moment of recognition my father looked like he was going to cry——with elation.
From what I could tell from the face reflected in the picture glass today – I reacted much the same.