Early this morning I got a text message from my uncle to tell me my pa (grandfather) had passed away. He had been quite ill for about 4 weeks.
Having never lost anyone so close to me, I am numb.
My pa was a great man to me. To most people he was probably just an ordinary bloke who worked hard all his life and provided for his kids and grand kids. To me, especially as a kid, he was my hero.
I saw him last on Saturday. When I left, I kissed his forehead and told him I loved him. Only the second time I had been able to tell him. He squeezed my hand with the strength of a healthy man. I think that was his way of telling me he was tired of fighting.
He had managed to hang on so my nana and he could celebrate their 70 wedding anniversary. He was 9 days short of his 92nd birthday. I think he had had enough.
Cancer is a horrible thing.
The photo below is how I will remember him. Not as the shadow of his former self I saw last Saturday, but the loveable, tubby and cheeky little bloke I called Pa.
R.I.P. Tom Jolliff. 05/06/13.