Sunday, November 09, 2008

Desmond James Rodgers (1933 - 2008)

Oliver, Lucy and Grampy Des
Grampy Des with Oliver and Lucy, September 2007

It is with the greatest sadness that I have to write that after a short illness Hayley's Dad died on Tuesday.

About three weeks ago he was admitted to hospital with relatively little concern. However tests revealed that he had advanced lung cancer with secondary tumors.

For the last few weeks we have spent much of our time down in Wiltshire so that Hayley could visit her Dad as often as possible. Some relatives were kind enough to let us have their house as long as we need it.

On the Wednesday before he passed away, Des, his partner Nancy, Hayley and myself took part in a service at the hospital chapel which was attended by about a dozen other close family members. In the service the vicar blessed and gave thanks for the relationship of Des and Nancy. She then blessed our upcoming marriage and blessed Hayley's engagement ring and a ring I chose for the occasion. Finally she performed what would normally be the first part of the wedding ceremony which is to ask who gives Hayley away to me. When she asked, Hayley's Dad said loud and clear "her father does". He then passed Hayley's hand to mine.

It was an emotional occasion, a mixture of immense sadness but also happiness and gratitude that we were able to fulfill our dear wish that Des should give Hayley away.

In the final days Des just wanted to come home from hospital, but sadly he died the day before he was due to be moved. He died around breakfast time just as Hayley was dropping off the kids to go and see him. Agonising though it was for her that no-one was there with him, he did not suffer and it seems he died peacefully.

Hayley was always close to her Dad, the apple of his eye. At Lucy's Christening my Mum told Des how glad she was that I had found someone who made me so happy and who was a wonderful mother to her grandchildren. He simply said "She's the best." I couldn't agree with him more. Des was a friendly, jovial and kind man who has passed all these qualities on to Hayley. He can never be replaced, but I will do my best to love and cherish his daughter who he has passed into my care.


Anonymous said...

That was such a sweet post you wrote about your father in law. He must of been a great person for you to think so highly of him.

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