Wednesday, 15 June 2011

William Harold Smith – my Dad

Drugged dazed, morphine comforted, he lay there as the nurses had arranged him. He was stark and strange or something between. Gentle Father, across the oceans he floated wanting to fly but the bed was no plane. Out of the whole repertoire of wishes he wanted to fly. This one will never be.

Bastards, bastards raging as he tried to hold firm against the tumour which was not unfriendly only doing what it is designed to do. A kindly nurse came forward with a syringe. As I watched his final battle against the unseen and not known to him. The invader, no imp or devil invades; this is a mere tumour without personality or humour. Malignant not benign, setting about the task of evolution, changing body perceptions, strangling faculties and functions, one by one.

He tried to maintain his identity between the drugs that went into his veins and all the time having to come to terms with meeting his death with all his strength and gallantry. While my father dies all I wanted was to have a croissant and a cappuccino in a French café, in a village somewhere you have to fly too.

My father died never having flown in a plane, never having left the shores of the country he was born in, he was such a gentle man.


  1. I remember ringing the doorbell then running to him and climbing on his lap so no one could shout at me. Grampa Bill was cool! He always thought it was funny.