Over that week my mum, brother & I sat with him throughout the day & into the evenings. Initially we thought he was going to be ok but on the Sunday the doctors told us this was 'an end of life experience' for my dad. This is when the phrase became a reality for us, my aunts & uncles, cousins & in-laws all went into action & kept us company, fed us & offered support in any way they could over the next few difficult days as my dad got weaker & weaker.
Growing up I was surrounded by ready made playmates in the guise of my many cousins, we rarely needed too many friends at our parties as we had so many of them around the same age as ourselves. But obviously as we all grew up & got on with our own busy lives we didn't see each other just as much, the girl cousins on my mum's side have tried to meet up once a year for a meal, just to make sure we keep that connection but it has been a while since we were all together.
My dad's sister has always been great at organising meet ups for us all at least once a year, I usually just get a phone call with the date & time & we spend an afternoon just chatting & reminiscing.
Since the 15th of January when my dad passed away, the wider family circle again provided so much support for us all; from making teas, sandwiches & food for the many visitors & us during the wake to just being there for us to hold onto at the more difficult times. Sometimes it does take a sad occasion to make families pull together & this was certainly so true for us. I am truly blessed to belong to such a big extended family on my parents' side & on my husband's side. The latter have been through so much themselves in the past 6 months we had all become so much closer already.
I know my dad would be so happy to see us all pulling together, reconnecting & rekindling life-long relationships. So here's to family & I am truly fortunate to belong to one of the best. So a massive thanks to all the Woods', Murdocks, Collins', Buckles, Morris', McCartans, Hartleys, Corrs, O'Neills, Cannings, Kilpatricks, Cullens & McAndrews for being there when you were needed the most.
This post is dedicated to Desmond Buckle, a true gentleman & the best husband, dad, father-in-law, papa, uncle, brother & brother-in-law ever. October 19th 1934 - 15th January 2015.