Ninety Five Years Have Passed…

… since my wonderful Dad, their last born child, was gifted to Theo and Chrisanthe, welcomed into the family in their home at Aberdeen, NSW.

Catsoulis home at Aberdeen till 1927

All the siblings, all 10 of them, had been born in their home at the time. Five of his siblings had been born at Aberdeen, though sadly one had passed at just thirteen months old.

Today, you would have been 95 years young. Happy 95th Birthday… I’m so sorry you aren’t here to share it with us.. we miss your shy smile.. the delighted look on your face whenever family or friends came to visit. We miss your warm hugs and or welcoming hand shakes ..and of course, we miss that ever ready cup of tea.

The last birthday we celebrated with you was your 91st… you were a little puzzled by that.11081007_10206141400596819_6813175772305495619_n

You kept asking me how old you were, you couldn’t quite believe that you were that age.

 

 

You always had a sweet tooth, and thoroughly enjoyed a small slice of your birthday cake which followed fish and chips. Not that you ate much that day, or many others following that. After fighting so many illnesses over the previous few years, you quietly left us just over a month later on the 18th of October, surrounded by family.

 

Dad, we could never thank you enough, not just for the years of hard work to support your family, not just for the practical help you gave all in need, not just for the advice you wisely shared, though it sometimes took us some time to realise it was wise, but for so much more… your sense of humour, your personal standards which you set so high, your willingless to put aside your own needs when others could do with a hand, but most of all, for teaching us the vaue of family and friends.

Today, we will remember you even more so than on all the other days… we know you are watching over us as promised…please give Mum a big hug from me also…and I do hope there is chocolate cake in Heaven.

©Crissouli 12 September 2018

Photos ©Crissouli

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NEVER REALLY GOODBYE…

Three years have passed since we said Goodbye..
Did you hear us, Dad?
Did you know that it would be for the very last time..
You did react when I held your hand and told you that it was ok,
Mum was waiting for you.
You also reacted when I thanked you, yet again,
for all you did for us, for the love you showed and the guidance you gave us.
We were with you on your last journey..at least for as long as we could be..
just as we had been with you as your mind played tricks on you
and you forgot us at times. That was ok, we understood ..
and we never forgot you.

You have been our rock, our comfort,
and yes, at times, our disciplinarian..
We are who we are because of the love and caring
both you and Mum showed us always, in good times and bad.
We try not to shed tears as we delve into memories..
and can’t help laughing as we ‘see’ you beneath the mango tree
firing an air rifle at flying foxes feasting above.
We smile when we remember you stopping near a road sign,
staying for what seemed like ages
as two excited children waited for our watch..
after all, that’s what the sign said ‘Watch for Children’.
I still have the shivers when I recall diving deep into my bed,
screaming with fright, as you chased me with a live mud crab.. then calling me out some time later, saying it was all gone.. and presenting me with the crab, now bright orange, fully cooked.

I remember telling Mum, in as serious a tone as a five year old could muster,
that when she was finished with you, I was going to marry you when I grew up!
High praise indeed from a little girl who adored her tall handsome Dad,
especially when he played the guitar as Mum and I sang..Peg Theo Chris Vince Catsoulis c 1959well, ok, mostly Mum, she had a far better voice than I did.
I loved to sing with her though…and she taught me the words of so many songs.
Memories tumble by, one after the other and I find myself smiling often..
at the hospitality and generosity that came from you both..
at the willingness to drop everything at a moment’s notice to help someone in need, whether near or far.
Nothing was ever too much trouble..you expected nothing in return.
That wasn’t your way..

©  Crissouli 1959

You welcomed our friends and their friends and treated all like family..
then when our family grew, you were so happy and so proud…
You delighted in grandchildren and then the great grandchildren,
that Mum longed for, but never got to see…how you would love seeing them all grow.
Ninety one years .. and yet that wasn’t enough. We had more love to share..
more memories to create, more stories to tell..
We do our best to honour your memory, to be the people you wanted us to be..
So, never really goodbye, but rather, just for now..
You will live on in all that is good in those for whom you paved the way.

© Crissouli 18th October, 2017

 

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© Crissouli 2013

Last photo taken… Dad’s 91st birthday, at the nursing home. How he loved the birds..