Thursday 23 April 2015

Missing you every day....

I lost my beautiful Dad
on Friday, April 10th, 2015 at the age of 82.
He was my rock! 

Dad was born  in September of 1932,
in the County of Cavan,
in the Irish Republic.

He was the second eldest in his family
and had six sisters and two brothers.

Dad joined the British Army just before he turned 18.
He was on active duty during the Malayan Emergency.

Dad pictured here in the Cameron Highlands 
when he was stationed in Malaya (which included 
only the States of the Malay Peninsula).  
He would have been around 21 years old in the photo.

In 1963, Malaya joined up with Singapore, Sarawak,
and Northern Borneo (renamed Sabah) to form the
Federation of Malaysia.

Dad was a jungle scout and arms instructor for the army 
and would sometimes guard the food convoys (as above), 
Raub District, Malaya, now Malaysia. 

He would have been around 19 in the photo above.

Dad met my Mum in Malaya
as her Father also served in the British Army.

 Pictured in August of 1955, on their wedding day in 
Port Dickson, Malaya (now Malaysia).

In 1959, the year I was born, Dad left the army
and they lived in England for a while.
In 1963, Mum and Dad immigrated to Australia
with their four young children,
Caroline, Serena (me), Billy, and Angela.
My youngest brother, Wayne, came along later in 1967.

Dad adored his wife and kids.
He was a very hard worker.
At times, shuffling two full-time jobs,
one was a day job; one was a night job,
all to make a better life for his family.

In his late thirties, Dad took up a keen interest in photography.

I remember helping him develop photos
in his Dark-Room at times.
On one such occasion,
Dad asked me to pass him scissors so, out of reflex,
I switched on the overhead light to find the scissors.
Ooooops....sorry, Dad.
After much panic,
I think he managed to save those photos from ruin.

Mum and Dad - approx. 1989

Dad loved dancing the Waltz and the Fox Trot.
 Everybody loved to watch my Mum and Dad dance.

And even in later years (2012)

He enjoyed a good laugh too. hehe

Dad always liked regular fishing but, after he retired,
fly-fishing became his main hobby interest.

Above - Fly-fishing in a stream in New South Wales. 

He even made his own flies for lures.

Above, Dad teaching Beau, my son, how to cast...

Dad was always there to support his Grand-kids
in any endeavours they undertook and
he was so proud of each and every one of them.
He was very much a father figure to my own five kids,
as their father did not play a big role in their lives.
They have many happy memories to go on with.

Dad and Mum at Bradley's (my eldest) graduation in 2002

Mum and Dad in 2008

Flanked by my wonderful parents at my surprise 50th birthday party!

With their first Great-Granddaughter, Mikayla.

Dad had been a fit and healthy man all his life but,
around the age of 78,
his health started to decline.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and,
in 2013, we nearly lost him to life-threatening surgery
when his gallbladder turned septic and burst.
He suffered a couple of strokes around the same time
which left significant paralysis down the right side of his body,
also affecting his speech.
As his physical dependency and medical needs worsened,
we made the heartbreaking decision to place
Dad in an Aged Care Home in September 2014.

The two lovebirds! hehe

The Aged Care home became like
a home away from home for us
as we visited Dad frequently.

My beautiful granddaughters, Mikayla and Madelyn,
enjoying a treat while their Poppy sleeps peacefully in the bed beside them.

The staff at the Aged Care home were wonderful
and they developed quite a bond with Dad.
They loved that he always
gave them 'high-fives' and hugs.
Even they cried on the day of his passing.
We couldn't have asked for better care for Dad.
We will miss the staff as well as
some of the Dementia pod residents.

It's impossible to give a concise story
of my Father's life in just one post.
There is so much more to this amazing man....

but what stands out to me
is the undying love Dad had for his family.
I felt safe and protected
  when my Dad was around.
He was so proud of us all, his family.
He was always there for us and
I just can't imagine life without him in it. 

I will always be grateful that I was able to spend 
a very special and love-filled day with him 
before he passed away peacefully.

Early in the day,
 Mum, my brothers, sister, spouses, Bradley, and I reminisced
about the good, old days with Dad.
We played his favourite oldies via our mobile phones,
One of Dad's favourites.
'After all these Years' by Foster and Allen.

linked from YouTube - After all these Years

We shed many tears.
Dad was surrounded by love.

Our family came together, 
united in our love for Dad
and then, our grief at his passing.
My heart continues to ache...
but I know Dad is now at peace
and no longer suffering.
I know he is with us, his family, in spirit.
I feel him around me even now.


Don't worry about Mum...
I will be there for her always.
THANK YOU for being such an amazing Dad!
 You will be missed deeply and
you will forever hold a special place in my heart.

 'til we meet again...
May you rest in peace. xo

Anthony Eaton  
Born: September 19th, 1932
Died: April 10th, 2015