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A Moment of Absence & the Naming of Dragons

A dog called Shorty, a trip to Fiji, an unexpected smoked fish and an expected loss, among other things. Also dragons.

Okay, more than a moment of absence, admittedly. And I do realise that it’s also not Blog Day (aka Wednesday), although it would’ve been an easy mistake to make, given how confused I am about what day of the week it is (also what month it is, and I’m honestly not quite clear on when we got to the 2020s? I overheard a group of young American women in rugby shirts chatting in the airport the other day, and two of them were (very gently) teasing another for being born in 1997. My first thought was that she was very young to be off on an international sports trip. And then I realised she was twenty-five, not fifteen, and I am officially old, as she still looked pretty young to me …).

Anyway. I had a point. Yes – it is not Blog Day, yet here we are with a blog (or here I am, anyway), and I’m just going to go with it. Otherwise it’ll be another week, and by that point I may have forgotten entirely how to do this blogging thing. As it is I seem to have formed some sort of unnatural attachment to parentheses (I think this probably says something about my thought processes at the moment. Full of distracted asides and missing streets and dark alleys that lead to mysterious doors and upside-down staircases and trees that just don’t look quite right. And someone’s spilled the tea, I can tell).

I feel this may be happening in odd corners, too.

I have two things to talk about in this blog post. Firstly, I travelled! This is exciting. It was exciting. And weird. And reminded me that it’s been a while since I did so, because I forgot to take my watch off at security and so set off the body scanner. It’s been a long time since I forgot something that simple. But, mild embarrassment aside, I will say this for having an enforced break (even though I realise I did travel last June while the NZ/Australia travel bubble was open, a year without travel is pretty unheard of for me) – it was exciting again.

The weird rush (even when prepared) for the airport, the hustle through checkout and security, then the wait … and wait … for boarding and finally, finally the take off … It all left me with a delighted anticipation that I haven’t had for a long time. Travel had become routine, just a shuffle onto the plane, a tedious wait, and a shuffle off. It was a thing to get through that bracketed the things I actually wanted to do. It was nice to remember that it’s actually a ridiculously wonderful thing, to step into a metal tube in one country and be disgorged again in another, having swooped about the sky like an unwanted meal in the belly of a sedate albatross. Which is not the nicest simile, now I read it back, but I did warn you. Mind the sofas.

lI mean, it’s still about the destination, really. But it was also fun getting there.

The other reason it was exciting, of course, was that I went to Fiji to sit on a beach and do basically nothing. Which I’m really bad at, but I discovered an unexpected talent for it. I walked on the beach in the mornings, usually accompanied by one of the resort dogs (we christened her Shorty, with great imagination, as she had very short legs), and found shells at the edge of the water and watched the occasional surfer and the many, many hermit crabs doing hermit crab things (either fighting or possibly the opposite. Not sure).

I went for long swims after breakfast, up and down the length of the beach with the sun on my back and the water warm and salt and silken (and full of tiny bits of seaweed that tried to take root in my hair, but that’s not quite as picturesque). I read a lot and wrote a bit, and bobbed about in the pool or the sea, depending on what took my fancy (and how many people were in the pool, because ugh, people).

I also struck up a friendship with the resort cats, and I can say I approve strongly of any resort that provides animal companions for their guests (I’m fairly sure the aforementioned animals weren’t actually invited, but details, you know). It was restful and fun and funny in many parts, because while Fiji isn’t where I grew up (that was Tonga), there are many similarities, and part of me is always home in the islands.

And it was healing, which I needed. Because the reason for my absence, and for the trip away (and the second subject of this blog), is that my Dad, namer of dragons, teller of funny and somewhat truthful (if often rather stretched) tales, wonderful friend and frequent setter of terrible but entertaining examples, passed away in May (on Friday the 13th, to be exact, which was both very on brand and something I know he’d have found suitably entertaining). I was so lucky last year to be able to get back to NZ through all the travel restrictions and quarantine and the rest, and have the freedom to just decide to stay. It meant I had a whole year with him I’d not have had otherwise, and it was both heartbreaking and such a privilege to be here till the end.

After, his girlfriend and I had a memorial gathering at the house which was informal and beautiful and fitting, and involved no flowers but a lot of rum (we only bought one bottle, which was not enough for Dad’s friends, but luckily there seemed to be a general, unspoken assumption that it was B.Y.O. Also someone brought an entire home-smoked fish, because I guess that’s a thing you bring to a wake? I want to put that in a book now, but I’m not sure it’s believable …)

Three days after the memorial, Dad’s girlfriend and I flew to Fiji and sat on a beach and ate a lot and talked to the local animals but not many people, and it helped. We’ve been home a couple of days now, and everything is different and nothing will ever be the same, but that’s okay. Things are okay. We’re okay.

These are the things I remember.

So that’s why it’s been quiet here. The last month has been a lot, and I’m coming back to work and writing as gently as I can, armed with lingering Fijian mosquito bites and leftover smoked fish.

But I wanted to put this here, although many of you will have read it before:

A while ago, when my writing was going in a different direction, I came down and met Dad and his girlfriend in NZ. I had about a month sailing with them, and one day as we were heading north along the coast Dad and I were sitting on the sidedeck in the sun (it was September, and chilly still). The autopilot was on, the wind was light but in a good direction for reaching up towards Whangaroa, and we’d been listening to the marine forecast.

“Bloody Beaufort Scale,” Dad said. “Pointless. I don’t know why they still use it.”

“I like the name,” I said. I like the scale, too, really, not so much for its usefulness as for the almost poetic nature of its descriptions.

“It’s not a name for a measure of wind strength,” Dad said. “It’s a name for a badger.”

“Badgers don’t have scales,” I replied. “It’d have to be an armadillo or a dragon or something.”

And not long after that, Beaufort Scales was born, complete with a taste for condensed milk sandwiches, which I have never had but which Dad swore he and his brother used to have all the time. Which explains the genetic origins of my sweet tooth.

(As for Beaufort’s character … well, let’s just say that Dad’s favourite dragon was Lord Walter, and there may have been some small and incidental similarities there …)

No badgers in sight.

Normal service, as far as that goes, will resume soon. Thanks for your patience, lovely people.

Now let me know below – have you travelled since restrictions have eased? Or are you planning to? Let me know where you’re heading below!

Beaufort Scales, happiness, mental health, self care, travel, writer's life, writing

  1. CG Phillips says:

    Praying for comfort in your memories, more cats and heaven sent thanks to Dad for Beaufort Scales.

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you so much. And he always loved how much people connected with Beaufort. Even if I did refuse to let Walter do all the things Dad said he should …!

  2. Susan says:

    I lost my 17 1/2 year old kitty about the same time you lost your father. We both got to be there at the end.

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry you lost your kitty, Susan. Hugs to you!

  3. Susan York says:

    As you always tell all of us, be ever so good and kind to yourself right now. The trip to Fiji was one way of doing this, but continue to give yourself gentle breaks. Grief is so sneaky, it punches you in the gut when you’re not expecting it. Thank you for sharing some of your father with us.

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you so much, Susan. And yes, grief is sneaky. There are all sorts of moments that creep up that I don’t expect, but I’m lucky I had the chance to spend some good time with him ❤️

  4. Tsippi says:

    Condolences and all that. Your father sounds like a character. It’s good that you had someone to share the grief, with or without smoked fish.
    Just before I read your post my daughter was telling me about a chat she had with a street cat, complete with “he said” and “I said” including expressions and vocals. I understood exactly. Cats are great conversationalists and comforters.

    1. Kim says:

      He certainly was a character – I think larger than life applied rather well there. And he would’ve found the smoked fish just as funny as we did!

      Your daughter is obviously already wise in the way of cats – she must’ve been taught well ❤️

  5. Maria Korsman says:

    Hugs! Cherish the extra time you spent together, and take good care of yourself.

    1. Kim says:

      SO lucky to have that time! Lots of lovely chats and good moments before the end. Thank you! ❤️

  6. Mary says:

    We used to love condensed milk sandwiches, or just spread on bread and butter. So it really is a thing, even in the Northern hemisphere. Perhaps I am about the same age as your Dad – it may be a generational thing. I am so sorry you have lost him, but he will always be with you. When I watch my children and grandchildren lovingly, I still feel I see them with my parents’ eyes too and it makes me very happy xxx

    1. Kim says:

      It could be a Northern hemisphere thing – Dad was born in Scotland and only moved out to NZ when he was 13. So it’s entirely possible that he brought that with him! Apparently he and his brother would take their pocket money to the shop and buy a tin to make sandwiches with, then eat the whole thing. Which seems excessive even to my sweet tooth …

      And yes, he’ll always be with me. I have so many good memories. Thank you for your lovely thoughts ❤️

  7. Jan Noga says:

    Sincere condolences on the loss of your dad, namer of dragons and model for Lord Walter. How wonderful that fate found a way for you to have that last year with him.

    I lost my brother in 2020 – not from COVID but he did take wing into the stars on May 13 like your dad. I was thinking about him the other day as I turned old bananas that had been forgotten in the back corner of the fruit bowl into banana bread. Our mom mostly baked during the end of year holidays, and banana bread was one of our absolute favorites. She’d bake a loaf that was just for my brother and me so that we wouldn’t eat the one that was meant for family coming for Christmas. It is an especially moist and yummy bread with a special way of melting the butter and the addition of sour cream that makes it impossibly delicious. My mom always put walnuts in the bread because it was in the recipe, even though my brother and I both hated walnuts. We would eat our slices at the kitchen tables, working the walnuts out of the bread with our tongues, and then spit walnut pieces at each other. I realize that sounds pretty gross, but we got many a laugh out of that (and spent many an hour cleaning up all the little pieces of walnut that made it to the floor but escaped the dog).

    Be good to yourself for this coming year. I find you have to go through all the holidays and special days at least once in order to get accustomed to the idea that there will be an empty chair at those times. The grief eases and, as it does, the happy memories slip into its place to keep you company. Take care.

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry about the loss of your brother – that must’ve been so hard. I hope you’re doing okay and looking after yourself over this anniversary time. How lovely to have memories of the good times you had together so close – they’re definitely the things I’m holding to. Sending you all the strength and hugs ❤️

  8. Tacy Cass says:

    So sorry you have lost your father (and why do they say “lost” like you’ve misplaced them). There’s nothing like losing a parent. Sitting on a beach sounds like a good way to spend some of your grieving. Please remember to continue to be kind and patient with yourself. It will continue to sneak up on you.

    At my mom’s memorial we had a hosted ice cream bar and plenty of hot chocolate. She would have approved.

    1. Kim says:

      I said something like that to his girlfriend the other day – “We haven’t left him on the bus or dropped him down the back of the sofa …” But I suppose it just means lost to us, although I’m not sure that’s accurate, either. After all, they’re always there in memories ❤️

      I love the sound of your mum’s memorial – indulging, comforting food is exactly what one needs.

  9. Donna Sharp says:

    Over the last two and a half years, during lockdowns and even internal boarder closures, I have been lucky enough to travel on a daily basis (even if only by foot) in the company of Reggie (my dog) in order to feed our chooks at the bottom of our garden. In regards to leaving the yard, well that is a whole different kettle of fish. I am glad you managed to find your way to some respite and I do hope to enjoy travel one day again also. Hugs to you Kim and may your Dad rest in peace. Nice to know how Beaufort Scales was born. Made me smile. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Kim says:

      Sometimes little local excursions are the best! I was really lucky in the UK lockdowns to be up in the Dales and able to run out of the front door and up into empty hills every day. It makes such a difference to have that freedom, I reckon. It made the restrictions easier to bear, in my mind. Hugs back to you – hope to get over there later this year and maybe catch up ❤️

  10. Erika Koch Utsler says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, but thankful that you were able to spend time with your father. Re-establishing some sort of emotional equilibrium can take time, don’t forget to show yourself compassion in the weeks and months ahead.

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so happy for that time – deciding to stay in NZ when I came back last year is something that I never expected to do, but which I wouldn’t change for anything. I was really lucky ❤️

  11. Carolyn says:

    So glad you found a way to cope with the sadness of losing your father- I was rattled to the core when mine went. Cats of course knew you needed their support so they came and behaved cattily. I’m whelmed by you father being a Lord Walter fan as I have grown awfully fond of the dragon who talks to me regularly.
    Travel? Yes – we’ve been away for the last month in the faithful camper van through France and Spain to Portugal. It was lovely to see the different countries and briefly meet charming people. The welcome in Portugal was tremendous with hugs all round (including the local policeman). Geoff was co-opted into working on the farm and I took up residence in the restaurant kitchen. We didn’t get to any beaches but sat for long stretches by the side of the river.
    p.s. I remember condensed milk as being the secret between my mother, sister and myself when we sat with a teaspoon each taking turns to dip into the tin
    Take care

    1. Kim says:

      Having time to prepare helped a lot – it was why I stayed down here when I came back last year. We had lots of pockets of good time and good chats and silliness, and I will always be so grateful for that. Although I did miss the Little Furry Muse hugely, as having a kitty in such times would have been such a relief!

      And a month away sounds amazing! How lovely to be able to return to somewhere that sounds like a real second home for you. Despite the work, it must’ve been a really good recharge after all the difficult times of the last year or so.

      And sneaky condensed milk dipping! Yes, Dad and I used to do that … 😁

      1. Carolyn says:

        I confess that I still miss my parents after some years – mainly when I see something or hear something that I want to tell them about. It’s not a bad missing just a reminder of all the happy times we shared and the adventures we had. That’s what memories are for, I guess. (I’m really sorry they never met Beaufort and the clan as they would have been big fans too. (If you ever need a bed when/if you come to the UK, just let me know)

        1. Kim says:

          I do think I’ll be missing Dad for a long time, if not always. And I understand completely on the things that pop up that make you think, oh, they’d appreciate that …

          Thank you so much on the offer of the bed! That’s lovely of you ❤️

  12. I am so very sorry that you lost your Dad. And tears are starting to trickle down my face as I type these words, for I lost my own father on December 12. Give yourself plenty of psychic room for the rollercoaster ride that is grief. (I continued to send my Dad e-mails every morning until his e-mail shut down in April, and I’m afraid my blog this year is cluttered with any number of sad and introspective posts.) My great joy is that we found the perfect home for his little cat, Lucy, where she now rules with an iron paw in a velvet glove.

    I’m sure there is some other dimension where your Dad is having tea and scones with dragons!

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss – such a tough time. Sending you strength and hugs – and I’m so glad you found a good home for Lucy!

  13. LSJ says:

    💙💙💙 Love to you Kim!

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you – hugs to you! ❤️

  14. JC Steel says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Kim. Take care of yourself.

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you so much ❤️

  15. Hi Kim
    I’m a Kiwi living in mid Wales. In 2020 both my Mum and my best friend Sue died and I was unable to get home to say goodbye or to attend funerals. Ive been trying for the last two years to get a place in quarantine but no luck. Finally in September this year I’ll be coming home for good, having had to wait for the six months for my dogs to be able to come with me (thems the rabies rules for dogos) I really can’t wait – I keep thinking some other mad thing will happen to stop me getting there.

    Anyway.. I am so, so sorry about your Dad, and so very happy that you got back to NZ to spend time with him.

    much love to you

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so, so sorry to hear about your mum and your best friend. That’s just awful – what a horrible time of things. I know I was so lucky to get my MIQ space – my aunt was trying to get in from Australia as well, and we basically tag-teamed each other over the time difference, so I kept an eye on things in my daytime and she in hers. When the travel bubble with Oz was announced a handful of spaces came free, so we both grabbed one. I had intended to just come back for a visit, and actually got as far as Oz to visit my mum on the way back, then realised that if I did that the odds were high I wouldn’t get a space again. So I cancelled my UK flight and went back to NZ instead, with my one small bag that I had with me for the trip! I basically had to just walk out of my UK life to do it. I was so lucky to have the freedom to do that, but I don’t recommend it as general practice …

      I hope the move down goes smoothly – I’m sure it will now!

  16. Ashley McConnell says:

    Some losses are always a loss. Condolences. His memory is clearly a blessing.

    And while I am emphatically not a beach person, your photos of Fiji are amazing. I can see how it would be a good place to be!

    1. Kim says:

      I’ve never been a ‘sitting on the beach’ type person – all my trips have been fairly (or very!) active in the past. But it turns out it’s really nice sometimes!

      And thank you ❤️

  17. MARIE CORDALIS says:

    It’s never easy, losing a loved one😢 No matter if expected or not. I’ve lost all of my family and while it was difficult it was also a blessing, for reasons as you often say. I know from experience that it can sneak up on you randomly, over and over. Let it and give yourself whatever time you need.
    We love you, we’ll wait ❤️

    No travel for me since my 15 year old transplant is acting up and I’m working desperately not to lose it. But I love hearing about others travels and seeing beautiful pictures like yours 🙂

    Continue to be kind to yourself!

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you so much, Marie. Yes, small things definitely sneak up on me (seeing his coffee cup in the cupboard, say), and I’m sure they will for a long time yet. But I have so many good memories, and those are the things I keep close.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your transplant acting up – that’s got to be so worrying. I hope you’re doing as okay as you can and that you’re able to stay safe. Sending strength and hugs to you ❤️

  18. It was with a sort of “companionable” head-nodding that I read your sharing the news about your dad. When I first laid my head on my pillow to sleep for the first time in a world without my father in it, I was struck by the fact that I still hadn’t cried. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I had shed some tears throughout the day but NOTHING like I had imagined I would. And that right there is what brought me great comfort …I laughed. Out loud and by myself. Only my dad could have seen the hilarity in my admitting to myself that I had “imagined” what my reaction to his death would be … someday. And when someday came I handled it with the grace, respect, grief, faith, and laughter my dad taught me.

    All will be well again, although very different, Kim. You are your father’s daughter and all will be well.

    1. Kim says:

      I love that your dad would have seen the humour in your reaction! We’ve always dealt with life through finding the funny side around here, so I understand this completely. So many little things have happened as we’ve gone through the last few weeks where I just know Dad would’ve been laughing with us. Just like you, I cried a bit at the time, and small things hit me here and there, but mostly I know he’d have seen the humour in it all, and that lets me do the same. Hugs to you ❤️

  19. Beckett says:

    I am so very sorry that you lost your father. My own dad died on December 12, so I can say from the heart that I know what you are experiencing. Give yourself plenty of psychic room for the roller coaster of emotion that is grief. I continued to send my dad daily emails from the day of his death until his email actually shut down four months later. And I have mourned him from the pages of my blog which has become quite sad and introspective lately.

    I’m sure your dad is sitting happily in some other dimension having tea and scones with dragons!

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, Beckett. What a tough time! I can imagine being able to send emails must’ve been quite a lovely way to say the things you needed to stay. All the hugs and strength to you ❤️

  20. Annie Shaw says:

    While I cannot comment on tea or baked goods I do recall one stormy night screaming at my Dad for dying and these 2 trees wrapped branches around me as I wept. I was so startled that I immediately laughed in awe and delight.
    May memories of this year with him bring peace, and unexpected moments of delight (that overcome the terrors of loss).
    Much love…

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Annie – it’s definitely a tough one. Look after you!

  21. Glen Day says:

    I lost my parents a long time ago…at least it seems a long time ago. And I still wish I could ask my dad about cars, sometimes. my mother and I both read a lot, and every once in a while I read something and think how much she would have enjoyed that book. And, yep, every once in a while you get sideswiped by sorrow. No help for it, and no way to predict or prevent it. Sneaky thing, sorrow. Even sneakier are the memories, especially as you get older, and there are more memories. Still, it beats the alternative! I have a cat and a half, which helps a lot, even tho the house cat is not a lap cat, and purrs only in a subliminal fashion, which means I know he’s purring cuz I can feel the vibration! The half a cat is feral. After four or five years he has finally decided, if I’m outside in the chair, he can sit on my lap. However, I am not allowed to touch him; he has lightning quick claws, and I am quite convinced he sharpens his claws at night. I have lots of little holes in my hands to prove it! Still, they make sure I get up in the morning, and make me know when it’s bedtime, so life goes on…..am I going to grow into a crazy cat lady?

    1. Kim says:

      Honestly, I feel cat lady is an appropriate life goal, and I’m planning to resume work towards it as soon as I can arrange to be adopted by a cat again! They’re wonderful (if sometimes complicated) company.

      And all those memories certainly do beat the alternative. I’ll always be so happy to have so many lovely memories with Dad, not just from the last year but from all the trips we did together as well as the times when I was growing up. There’s a lot to treasure there 🙂

    2. Julia+Daly says:

      Crazy cat person definition is, apparently, “more cats than the number of people in the house plus one”, Glen, so you still have whole extra cat before you become CCP compliant – although I’m not sure how the half cat part works. And you may have other people living in the house which ups the total before CCP commences!

      1. Kim says:

        I love that there’s a definition for that … 😂

        1. reeder77Glen says:

          The half a cat is a feral, a very mouthy feral. He gets fed, and has decided no one else is reliable I guess. He has been around, off and on, for about three or four years, but usually would disappear for two to four or so weeks several times a year, worrying me something awful. This year he has not gone anywhere else, and has seemingly decided I am okay for lap sitting. However, there are caveats, as in I cannot touch him. No pets! I swear he has someplace he sharpens his claws when I’m not looking. He will rub up against my ankles and twine around. He’s even climbed up from my lap and gotten close! Thus scaring me, since I’m not certain if it’s a friendly look, or a “am I going to have to slash you for looking at me.” move on his part. And I am alone in the house. I wouldn’t mind having a second cat, tho I think the house cat is a bit territorial……

          1. Kim says:

            Cats are such strange creatures. “I have adopted you, and you are now my human, but do not think you can treat me as your cat. The impertinence!” He has obviously decided you’re worthy of love and trust, but he can’t let on …

  22. Debra Alt says:

    I think your dad will live on in your books as Walter who will wile away his day attempting to eat cats, sipping tea while eating his favorite NZ baked goods, and muttering to himself about those dragon upstarts. And you’ll secretly throw in known to only you quirks and humor that you and your dad enjoyed. We’ll be out here appreciating those things, thinking “I bet that’s Dad. What a guy!”

    1. Kim says:

      It’s definitely a lovely way to keep his memory alive! He never, ever got tired of saying to people, “my daughter’s a writer, you know.” Or of suggesting truly terrible things that Walter might get up to…!

      1. Carolyn says:

        Did he hurrumph over people’s antics as I imagine Walter doing? Somehow I can’t think he could ever have been as crotchety as the dragon lord

        1. Kim says:

          He definitely wasn’t as constantly in a state of rage as Walter, but he could be very vocal if he felt someone was being foolish. In a good-humoured way, but still – no suffering of fools!

  23. Wendy McIlroy says:

    Finding things you know would have made them smile, like leaving on Friday the 13th, helps. When my own Dad passed away many years ago now, in the chaos of planning cremation we forgot to mention to the funeral home that Dad had had a pacemaker placed. They caught it before the event, but we had a good laugh at how much Dad would have loved taking the whole crematorium out with him!

    1. Kim says:

      Oh no! 😂 That would’ve been quite the shock! It really is so good to be able to still see the things that would have amused or entertained them. It makes things a lot lighter ❤️

      1. Oh, my, oh my! “Quite the shock”…pacemaker… I love a good pun!

        1. Kim says:

          😂 Oh NO! I didn’t even realise that when I wrote it!

  24. Susan E Aceto says:

    So sorry for your loss. But dragons and cats (ok, dogs and horses) help heal. Be comforted in having that year with you Dad🐴💕

    1. Kim says:

      Thanks so much, Susan. And yes – I feel very lucky to have had that year here!

  25. Angel says:

    Sending healing energy your way, Kim. Life tends to enjoy giving us a kick about at times. Take care x

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you so much ❤️

  26. Diana Flagg says:

    Grief is private and yet the one thing we all share. Living in Florida I had a wonderful bonding time with my father (Pops) when we were struck by 5 hurricanes in a few short months. My home was badly damaged and my cat (Ariel) and I stayed with pops for two months. It was a great experience and, with gratitude, one I will never forget because he died not long after that. I felt blessed to have been with him those many weeks. Living near the ocean I find myself drawn to the evenings there. Pops loved it, I love(d) him. Strangest thing about his funeral? His ashes are spread over his favorite national baseball field.

    1. Kim says:

      Five hurricanes – that sounds very stressful indeed! But so lovely that it gave you and your dad time together. I suppose those times of stress can give us unexpected space to pull together, also. And I love that his ashes are scattered on his favourite baseball field. Always with something he loved. Hugs to you ❤️

  27. Laura Conlon says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. You will always feel his loss, at odd times something will happen to remind you that he’s gone and you’ll shed a few tears but eventually that will ease as time really does heal everything. His memory will be a warm smile and the memory of love. It was such a blessing that you managed to spend the last year with him and that also must be a comfort.

    I lost my father when I was young so don’t really remember very much, but I lost my mother 12 years ago and still feel the loss but it’s easier and the good memories (as well as some bad) are a comfort.

    Im glad you managed to finally have a much needed break in Fiji and I’m sure it will have been a comfort to your fathers partner for you both to rest and remember together.

    We are just coming into our summer (says she laughingly🙄) and in fact had a lovely 2 week transatlantic break on the Queen Mary 2 which I thoroughly enjoyed. We’re also planning a weeks break in Wales in august so hoping (and praying) for sunny weather.

    Take care of yourself and take it easy for a while let yourself rest and recuperate.
    Very best wishes
    Laura

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Laura – thanks so much for your lovely comment. I was absolutely so lucky to be able to have that final year here with him, and it’s something that I’ll always treasure. I have so many good memories of him, and being able to also share those with his partner is a lovely thing.

      I hope you get a bit of a decent summer! The cruise away must’ve been a lovely break, and I’ll cross my fingers for some good weather for you in Wales. I’ve only been there once, years ago, but it’s a lovely part of the country. I’ll have to make the trip back at some point!

      Thanks again for your lovely words ❤️ Look after yourself x

  28. Linda says:

    So very, very sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I love that he said “my daughter’s a writer you know”, he must be so proud! I lost my father on Christmas 2015 and still can’t speak of him in the past tense. Some personalities are just too big for a past tense. And inspiring a dragon is pretty big indeed! Take care of yourself, be gentle.

    1. Kim says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Linda. And to have it happen at that time of year must’ve been so tough as well – hugs to you! And yes, Dad was always really proud of the writer thing. He told far more people than I ever have! And I love that we’ll always share Beaufort. It makes him doubly special to me!

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