Sunday afternoon at 1.30pm, Dad had a massive heart attack at home and couldn’t be revived. Poor Mum was alone with him and couldn’t get in touch with any of us “for once”. We were up the coast, Rita was down the coast, Nena was at her in-laws and Lil was pottering and didn’t hear the phone.
I just can’t imagine what it would have been like for her, feeling helpless and watching your husband of 42 years just “leave” in an instant.
However, true-to-form, it was a memorable day for them. Mum went to Mass while Dad went to the shops and bought some lamb and made a beautiful roast for lunch by the time she got home. He’d rung Delfino and made plans to go over after lunch. He’d prepared the roast and some beans and even cleaned the kitchen and stacked the dishwasher!!!! He’d commented Mum on the lovely purple top she was wearing and made them both coffee after they ate lunch. Dad worried that there was too much lamb but Mum assured him that they would see us all during the week, so it wouldn’t go to waste. He’d made batches of pepperoncini and beans during the week to last them through the Christmas visitors and celebrations.
Mum then watched the golf after their coffee and Dad went into the bedroom. Mum noticed that he was behaving strangely and went to ask. It was then that he grabbed her, hugged her and took a very large breath. He collapsed in her arms and she lay him on the bed and dialed “000”. She commenced CPR and she thought he’d come back because he drew another huge breath but the paramedics couldn’t revive him.
It was surreal to get the news on the road through Caloundra and we couldn’t discuss it until the boys were asleep in the back seat. We got home, I showered and Michael dropped me off at the PA Hospital. We were taken to the viewing room and it was really strange but quite nice seeing him lying there, looking at peace, knowing he no longer had to think about all the medication for his heart and diabetes; feeling frustrated about not being as mobile and active as he used to be. In a way, he died exactly how he wanted — quickly, painlessly, and without becoming bed-ridden.
Mackinley seems okay with Nonno going to Heaven and hunting crocodiles with Steve Irwin!! All the little ones will be at the Mass, not sure about Rainer yet.
It’s sad, but all is good. I’m glad he’s finally at peace and free of a body that was seriously letting him down!!
Bye Dad….GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!!