I'm sat here in bed on my day off wearing my Liverpool shirt (It was his favourite team) and thinking of all the times I enjoyed and spent with my father. I try to think of the last words he said to me, or even the memory of the last time I actually saw him. It was a few days after my sisters 21'st birthday party and I went round to see him before coming back to Preston. We had a brew, with cream milk of course and were just talking in general about life. He was asking me about university and we were talking about the upcoming Olympics in London and I remember him saying "you know, if you had kept up with your running you would be there at your home games Stewart." I really was never ever even close to being at that level, but just remembering that he said that really made me smile because of how much my dad believed in me.
Just before throwing up after a race that summer.
My dad gave me a lift back over to Preston with my nephew Harrison in tow and that was the last time I saw him alive. My dad knew he was ill and so did I, so every time I saw him I would always make a point of telling him I loved him and giving him a big hug. He told me he loved me and to take care and that was the last time I spoke to him ever in person. Not long after he was taken into hospital and although I went to see him once, he wasn't awake or in a state to talk to me. He came out again and was back at home so I thought he would be fine, only to be rushed back in again a day or so later. I thought he would be ok, or maybe I was in denial that he wasn't going to be ok. I felt like if I didn't acknowledge he was that ill than he wouldn't die. I had spoke to my mum and sister that day and they both told me I couldn't ring him because he was a bit groggy etc so I sent him a text.
My mum gave me the bad news several hours after I sent this and I really didn't believe her on the phone. I was just in a state of shock. I had to text and ring my brothers and sister just to make sure I wasn't dreaming or it wasn't a nightmare. Looking back, it makes me happy that our last exchange of words with each other are happy ones. My mum confirmed he managed to read my text and that makes me feel warm and happy that he did. I try to keep strong in the knowledge that I am carrying on my father's legacy and making a difference in this world no matter what I do.
We are all so busy sometimes in the modern world that we forget about what is really important to us. If the worst happened and somebody who you cared about right now died, what would be the last words you exchanged with them? Or how long ago would it have been since you spoke to them? Often we all take for granted the things or people that mean the most to us in our lives, but we would do well just to stop and acknowledge just how great these people are to us.