Hardship’s Dad is dying. Last Tuesday, he was given six to eight weeks. Seems someone forgot to carry the one. He’s down to days now. It’s hard to know what to do or say… Her family seems to be coping as well as can be expected. Once everyone was contacted (Her little sister was interailing around Europe), it became a waiting game. It seems that everyone is content that he is in no pain, and is comfortable. The man himself has lucid periods, during which he has told them all how much he loves them, and how he doesn’t want them to be sad, how he’s accepted his fate, and, in a moment that couldn’t have been more in his character, how he doesn’t want a particular relative to make a show of himself at the wake. In his own words, “I don’t want that crying whining cunt pawing at me in the fuckin’ coffin”. Last year, I lost a beloved aunt, who died suddenly, completely devastating the family. I look at what’s going on here, and I am glad for the family that they get the chance to have this time, something that not a lot of families get. Also, it seems preferable to a long, protracted illness. He had cancer last year, but got the all clear, this is a very vengeful second shot. It has taken him in an instant, and as such his pain will be brief; again, we have this to be thankful for. He has said it himself; he wouldn’t want to be a burden to anyone.
I’m doing what I can; helping around the house to keep it tidy. He always kept a nice garden, but it had fallen into disrepair, which caused Mrs. Hardship quite a lot of distress. So, while they were in hospital, I called in some favours from a few friends, and we completely overhauled the whole thing. Also, I knew Mrs. H. was very conscious about the tidiness of the house, so I painted the living room, put down a new wooden floor, got an industrial tile cleaner and polished every surface. By the time they got home that night, it was like Pimp My House. Delighted though everyone was, we all knew what was happening… We were tidying the house for a wake. That’s what is so eerie about all this… Everyone is so ready for it. He’s said his piece to his family, left instructions, and I’m sure, in quiet times, spoken to everyone individually. The house is spotless, we’ve spoken to funeral arrangers, and everything is ready. I feel unrest in everyone, like a formula one pit crew waiting for the driver to come in. There’s nothing more can be done… All I can do is be there for Hardship, who has shown a strength of character and love that has blown me away, and reminded me why I fell in love with her to begin with. And for all my talk of “Don’t be upset, boo”, when the time comes I’m gonna tell her to be as upset as she likes, because I know I will be.
Because he truly was one of the All Time Greats.