~ “It’s been a while” ~

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written anything or joined in any challenge. Life has been challenging enough for a while!

I returned earlier than expected to the UK with my daughter and two grandchildren to see my dear dad. Fortunately we were just in time to spend a few days at his bedside and for him to see his great grandchildren, I believe he was holding on for us. My dear dad passed away a few weeks ago, having survived a year longer than expected. It was a blessing for my mum to have the children and my daughter on hand to keep her distracted.

After they returned I now have my wonderful husband to help with things. It’s unfortunate that my lovely mum has to go into a care home, but we have found a good one and I hope to have her settled before I return to Australia. It will be a wrench and on my conscience for a long time that this is has to be the outcome.

My dad was 91 and lived a long and mostly healthy and happy life, has left a gaping hole in all of our lives.

Even though I live in Australia and before that Hong Kong, having moved from the UK over 35 years ago, my parents came out every year to see us all. It was great having them every year for three months at a time. They were very independent and drove themselves around, with my dad joining our local golf course and making friends of his own.

A few years ago I bought him a book “Dear Dad, From You to Me”, on each page there was a question about his life and what I meant to him. Who knew he would turn into such a prolific writer, and he wrote pages and pages, filling up notebooks and finding old photos. Once this was written I read this, sometimes with tears but mostly with laughter. I typed this up and in the end had it made into small booklets.

My Dad – Ronald

1931 – 2023

Born in the East End of London and one of eleven children. He was the youngest boy, with five older brothers, two older sisters and two younger sisters. He was born a twin but sadly his brother died at six months old.

He was a fairly naughty boy, being led astray by his older brothers but doted on by his older sisters. My dad tells tales of playing in bomb craters and lighting fires, being dressed up as a guy and carted around in a wheelbarrow for “penny for the guy”.

During the war years he was evacuated twice. He seemed to have come through those years unscathed. The lady he lived with, reading between the lines, treated her charges as little slaves, perhaps this is the reason one of his older sisters brought him home before the war was over.

My dad could put his hand to anything, decorating, do-it-yourself, photography and sketching. We didn’t always see eye to eye being made in the same mould, but he was always there for me and helped me out in numerous ways over the years.

I will miss my facetime chats with him and my mum every week, but I know when I think of him he is with me at all times.

A few of my favourite photos

❤️ “Forever in my heart and in my thoughts, dear Dad” ❤️


  1. So sad Alison but beautifully written and illustrated with those well chosen photos reflecting your Dad’s long and happy life. How wonderful that despite living so far apart, they came over for long spells each year to stay with you. Hope your Mum settles in all right as it will be such a change and upheaval for her at first but I’m sure she will cope and be well cared for. Take care yourself, Marion x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Ali… so sorry to hear about this, I was wondering why I haven’t seen you for a while. And I was thinking that this may have happened but was hoping for the best.

    You have some lovely memories here of your dad. Hope your mum is ok in her new home. Wishing that all will be good for you and your family xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely tribute to your Dad. That notebook sounds a wonderful idea, as you have his story in his own words. A wonderful selection of family photos too, they show us a man full of warmth and a zest for life. I know it’s tough putting your Mum into the care home (I’ve been there) but it has to be the best solution for you all, and I’m glad you’ve found one you’re happy with.
    Safe travels home, and I hope to see you on your next, hopefully happier, visit 🤗❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss, Ali. It’s darn difficult to lose a parent, even though they might have lived a long and healthy life. You were blessed to be able to say goodbye and even set your mom up in a care home. Take good care of yourself, too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sad for you, Alison. I lost my dad in 2015 and mum in 2021. It’s not easy, there are things I regret, but I’ve learned to accept that I did my best and that’s as much as anyone can hope for. Mum was in a home too and received excellent care, far better than I could have given, so I don’t think that should be on your conscience at all. You are doing the right thing to keep your mother safe and well-looked after xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ali, I’m sorry for your loss. The book ‘Dear Dad, From You To Me’ is a great idea. Your dad filled it with pages because he loved you so much. My family has been through a similar experience regarding placing my mom in a care home. I’m glad you’ve found one you’re happy with. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So sorry for your loss. It must be such a difficult time for you. I know too well the stress and strain when parents get older on the other side of the world – decisions are never easy. What a beautiful tribute to your dad, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so sorry for your loss, Ali. It is never easy to say good bye to someone dear & close to one’s heart, no matter the length & depth of preparation. My heart breaks for you.

    I think about rather often on this subject as both my parents are getting on in years. My siblings who both live in the US would empathise with your pain of physical distance; I feel like I’m certainly the luckier one.

    You have again reminded me of how precious the written word is, and photographs. What a wonderful project your dad embarked on – this momento he has left you.

    Sending you a big hug!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is indeed a very strange feeling and a different kind of grief when a parent dies. My father died last October and my Mum is a Carehome too. Not easy for anyone. Take care, Ailson

    Liked by 1 person

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