I wouldn’t say I like this week in May, particularly as the 13th and 14th fall on Thursday and Friday.
Eleven years ago tonight, at 11:15 pm, I watched Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales. Only 15 minutes into the film the phone rang. It was Mum, and she sounded distraught.
The hospice called to advise Dad had entered the terminal stage and only had a few hours left.
In a panic, I got dressed, got my car keys and mobile phone, hugged my wife and headed to my sister’s house nearly twenty miles away. I never understood why I didn’t let my wife come with me, except for the possible need to shave a few minutes off the getaway.
Every second counted.
I have never driven as fast.
I reached 100 MPH on the dual-carriageway, grateful the road was clear that time of night. Carefully, I breached red lights in the town and met Mum at my sister’s house.
Another twelve-mile journey, and the three of us got to the hospice for Dad’s last few hours.
We held him and told him how great he was as he released his last breath. It’s the only solace I can squeeze out of that difficult time.
I’ve never watched Josey Wales since.