They say that a girl chooses a husband who reminds her of her father. My husband is 6 feet tall with a head full of hair; my father was just over 5 feet and bald since his twenties. Yet, my husband is kind and loving, and those are just two of the characteristics that my father possessed.
My father was one of the most generous, down-to-earth, funniest people around. He was a good man, yet wasn't pious. He had his faults and he admitted and accepted them (Lord knows he'd drive us mad when he wouldn't listen to what we'd be saying!) He encountered demons in his life and he conquered them. Unfortunately the only demon that he never managed to beat was smoking; and fifty years of chain smoking will take its toll.
My father was a businessman with a company to his name and he could sell anything to anyone, because of his charm and charisma. He'd tell me stories about how he would convince his retail clients to purchase stock and he'd do it in such a smooth manner. Yet, he would never cheat anyone and he would never sell to people something that wasn't within their repertoire. Honesty and integrity were definitely two of my father's foremost qualities and were definitely contributing factors as to why he was so loved. The words that people said to him and about him were testament to that.
It was wonderful to see so many of his friends go to visit him in hospital at all times of the day. Grown men openly crying to see their friend stuck in a hospital bed, knowing that they couldn't do much, but just by being there they were already doing a lot.
He was discharged from hospital for a couple of hours to be able to attend my wedding Mass (he was too weak and tired to make it to the reception), but it was his wish to be there and see me get married. And when I saw him at the church I realised that it was my wish too. It's probably the reason why the Mass was my favourite part of the entire day.
Exactly two weeks after my wedding day, at exactly the same time that I was speaking to him outside the church, my father took his last breath, whilst holding my brother's hand and rested.
There are so many more things that I could write; this post only touches the tip of the iceberg about the kind of man that my father, Freddy, was. All I can say is that those who knew him can consider themselves to be very lucky indeed.