Friday, 26 January 2001

Friday 26 Jan - The Death of My Dad Six Weeks after the Birth of My Daughter

My dad suffered a stroke last week and we'd been down to see him but couldn't stay because Han was only six weeks old. We were due to go down to Wales after I'd finished work. However, I had a dental appointment that morning and had left work at 9:00 am to get there. while I was there deb rang to say that the hospital had called to say that my dad had just died of a massive heart attack. I suppose this was hardly surprising; the very first thing that the medical staff had done last week was ask me for resuscitation instructions after advising me that it would be better not to try and resuscitate my Dad should when the situation arose. The stroke he'd suffered was massive and his chances of recovery, at age 79, were close to zero. So I had given my consent to  them to treat my dad as a "Do Not Resuscitate" patient. If he'd lived he'd have had no quality of life and walking to the pub, something he did daily, would have been absolutely impossible. No, he would have been doomed to sit and waste away in a small flat unable to carry out the most basic of bodily functions...and what's the point in that?
I returned to work to advise what had happened and to let them know I would be on my way to Wales immediately and would advise when I would be back. We travelled down and eventually arrived at Prince Charles Hospital in Methyr why I briefly saw my fathers body.  I stayed down for a few days with my cousin Cath to make arrangements while Deb and the kids returned to Leicester. My Dad was cremated the following weekend.
This is where he grew up and spent almost his entire life; this is the village of Abertysswg as it looks today.
And, this is how it looked when he was a young man. He started working down this mine, when he was 14 years old, along side his Father and Brothers!

This is Charles Street where both he and my Mother were born and raised. The blue tiled shop is Roffi's. Mr Roffi emigrate to Wales from Italy early in the Twentieth Century and established his shop and proceeded to have a large family. His wife was still alive when my dad passed away and she was a sprightly 102 years old; I saw whilst I was there which was only the second time I'd seen her in my entire life. Her Son Aldo had been a good friend of my parents and I visited her with him.