This time last year I had just been woken by a phone call telling me that my darling father was no longer with us. He had slipped away during the night and was at peace with God.
It’s been a year of painful “firsts”.
First came his own birthday, then each of our birthdays.
Our first Christmas without him wearing a huge grin and a silly paper hat, laughing at everyone else’s jokes but no longer able to make the corny “Dad jokes” he was infamous for.
Our first Easter at the Blue Mountains house, this time saying our fond good-byes as we scattered his ashes from a cliff overlooking the beautiful Megalong Valley. I’ll never forget cradling the box containing his ashes in my arms as we quietly made our way down the bush path to the clearing, and wishing I never had to let him go.
He’s in a better place now, where there’s no more confusion and bewilderment, and where at last the world makes sense to him again. While there isn’t a single day when I don’t think of him, I have wonderful memories of a loving father, I’m grateful we had him with us for so many years, and my tears are gradually becoming happy ones.