92: Big Eats and farewells

Sunday roasts and celebratory dinners have always been BIG in our family.  On Wednesday 2nd October we had everyone home.  Dad was well enough to come to lunch.Last meal This is the Macleod/Osmaston family.  From left to right.. me, Rob Parkinson, my Godmother Yvonne Parkinson, my mum Sheena (new hip!!), Sandy aka Sandbag or Grandad or Dad, Miles (down from Cheltenham), Marcus (from Seattle), Phoebe – who has been a wonderful help, Andrew (my brother), photo taken by Teresa and Nick my husband.

We did roast gammon, cauliflower cheese, green beans and roast potatoes… I had some left over roast chicken.. or did until Bonnie, Andrew’s dog jumped up and pinched some.  We laughed and laughed, sang daft songs, everyone did a turn – we made an up channel night. This is a Royal Navy tradition… a last P up before coming into port after being on deployment.  Marcus did a rendition of the “Frogologist” a poem he’d learned when about 7 years old, Phoebe did a skit from Monty Python, Teresa and Bonnie did some tricks involving chicken, Nick and I reprised our sea world seal and trainer routine.  He put a kipper on a stick, I put on a bin bag and we acted out a seal training routine – this was first done on the last night of a family holiday in Portugal many years ago.  Dad sang a song about a dockyard gate.  It was one of those moments which will always be treasured.  Tears, laughter and love. Dad used to say to me make memories and lock them in your heart.

There were mostly tears the following day.  Marcus is the eldest grandchild.  He is married to a lovely American girl and they live in Seattle, Washington USA.  We don’t get to see him that frequently.  However, when he knew about “Sandbag’s” condition he spoke to his boss and got the first flight home.  He was in Plymouth for 48 hours.  On Tuesday 1st October he got off the flight, onto a train to Plymouth, got in the car and saw his Grandparents.  On the 3rd October he spent a couple of hours with them and when we collected him to take him back to to station and repeat the journey he sobbed.  He knew he wouldn’t be seeing Grandad again.  It was awful and terrible to see such raw grief.

Being a parent is hard.  Being the daughter of a dying parent is hard.


Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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