Been expecting this day to come for some time and this morning 4 am Eastern time got a call from SA to say my Dad had passed.
A few weeks ago he was checked into hospital for causes unknown, they were doing some tests on him however he believed in his own mind that all they were doing was to milk him of his money. In being true to how he was he checked himself out and insisted he be taken back to his room at the home.
I think and believe he had decided that he had had enough and slowly stopped eating regular meals, and not bothering to get out of bed the past few weeks. Today his body finally decided it could not go on any more. In recent months he had lost one eye (due to his own decision to self medicate) and gone very deaf. Both events took a significant toll on him.
Its a sad day, very sad no matter how one prepares for it and knows its coming, its still tough to handle.
He will be buried at sea according to his wishes. A sailor and devout Royalist to the very end. Guess I best write the Queen and let her know one of her subjects has passed. The biggest day in his life was being awarded the MBE and going to Buckingham Palace to have the Queen present it to him at the annual investiture ceremony. He was very proud of that recognition and happy I was there to share it with him.
It has been incredibly hard to deal with the past 5 years or so being so far away from him and not being there to help him, I can only hope my kids appreciate what it has meant to bring them to a better place, it sure has had a very high non $ price tag for me but we do what we believe is best i guess.
What i find very depressing is that my brother despite many many attempts on the part of my Dad never made peace between them and now its too late.
He was not an easy going man, but considering his life, i doubt anyone could be easy after it.
The best times in his life were his time serving in the Royal Navy which he joined at age 13 and only left after WW2. The Royal Navy in all its discipline became his surrogate family and he kept his ties through joining and becoming President of the Royal Naval Association in Johannesburg something he only gave up about 8 months ago.
My heart goes out to his one last friend Otto, who happens to be a survivor of the German Battleship Bismarck. Given my Dads participation in that battle he made contact with the few survivors in Germany many years after the War and they became close friends. He would often travel to Germany where those that were still alive would lay a wreath in memory of all the others who has lost their lives in that battle. Otto and my Dad used to frequently call and write each other until recently when Dad could no longer hear via the phone.
It will take me some time to digest this event, both he and his grandson had hoped he would hold on a few more years to see him pass University so the youngster is quiet upset too. They were very close the two of them. He does have all his medals to remember him by and i am sure he will be even more motivated to succeed and do his Grandpa proud.