Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving this year, which is today, I went to Manchester and worked on an exam for medical students. It was a long day and I got up at half-past five to do it, but the assessors were pleasant and the students were good and the hospital was new and shiny and it all went well and I enjoyed it.

That's an everyday sort of enjoyment to me. It's rewarding work, and although it required a lot of concentration I was very pleased to do it. I'm very, very lucky to be offered such work - I know it's useful for the training of future doctors, and I enjoy the challenge of getting it right. Today there were thirty-six candidates and I always try to give each one the same opportunity.

My colleague and friend Sally gave me a lift, too so I didn't have to drive, which was great. It's fifty-something miles each way but miles with a LOT of traffic.

The day after Thanksgiving last year was rather different.

Stephen and I were at the Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida, with Silverback, and I was having one of my best days ever.

I'd wanted to go there - - well, forever - - but never thought I would.

We had two days there and it was as wonderful as I had hoped.

On the first day there, I rang the Communist to tell him we were there. He'd always been fascinated by space travel in general and the Moon missions in particular.

I described it all to him and he was thrilled to bits. I had been ringing him every day from America, because, although he was well when we left, he was eighty-five, and you never know, do you?

"Your voice sounds a bit croaky, Dad," I said.

"Bit of a cold, I think," he said. "Tell me about the Saturn V".

That was the last proper conversation that I had with him. He had a virus that turned into pneumonia and he died just over a week later.

Here's the Rocket Garden in the sunset.


Anonymous ruth said...

Very poignant post.
In some ways it's hard to believe it's a year ago but I'm glad you have that postive memory of your last proper conversation with your dad.

9:26 pm  
Blogger Silverback said...

Glad you have those happy memories and when mine are fading of those days, I'll have lots of photos to look at.

It WAS a fun visit.

3:05 am  

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