Coming down to this house reminds me of the first time we came here.
It was just after my 86 year old Dad had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer.
I spent a lot of time on the front porch here talking to my Dad that year.
While we were down here he was actually quite well. One day I called he had
just been up on the roof of the house fixing a leak.
On the way down here that year I realised I had left the power supply for
my laptop at home. Because we had left a couple of other things I decided
to drive back a couple of days later to pick them up. The day I drove back
was the day Dad and Mum had been to see the specialist. The prognosis was
not good. There was nothing they could do at all. The position of the cancer
meant that surgery was not an option and both chemotherapy and radiotherapy
would make Dad worse at his age. He just had to go home and die. There was
one thing the doctor could do. The growth was pressing on his adrenal gland
and reducing his own supply of adrenalin (don’t hold me exactly to the details)
so the doctor was able to give him adrenalin tablets that would give him energy.
As I was back in Melbourne on the afternoon after Dad had been to the doctor
so I dropped in to see them. Dad opened the door. He had just made cups of
tea for himself and Mum and on the coffee table were two mince pies. It was
lovely sorrow. Mum and Dad married for 59 years. Dad knew he had weeks to
live and they were celebrating with a cup of tea and a mince pie. At least
they were trying to celebrate and try to make everything go back to the happy
times they had before they heard this news. The drank their tea but the mince
pies remained uneaten when I left.
Less than a month later he was gone.