This is overdue, but it’s been a bittersweet homecoming. The G&S canal was green and lined with green, but the skies were grey as we arrived at our home mooring. I had hoped, as recently as the Hatton flight, that my lovely dad would be at the helm once we got into local waters. He’d been tired by then, but still able to get out and about; still able to enjoy a meal with us. We thought that with a short journey to the boat, he’d enjoy a bit of time on the tiller and then a spot of relaxing at the bow, listening to that quiet lapping of water. But it wasn’t to be. Even in the short time between Hatton and Stratford, he went downhill and since the start of May, has been confined to bed and accepting ever-increasing amounts of diamorphine, while his strength, intake of food and interest in reading, conversation and the radio have all decreased day after day. Now that I come to write about getting into the marina, having a home mooring, I find that I can’t- not that people here haven’t been lovely, they have been, we love it and feel very much at home here- but everything in my thoughts somehow comes back at the moment to him, to what’s happening to him. To my mother. And to how this is only happening because of one work assignment when he was seventeen, and still an apprentice.
I’ll come back to this, but for now I can only think about my dad.