This essay is penned by Carol, Campbell’s long-suffering and happy wife.
As Father’s day approaches I sit here thinking about my dad. And how much a part of my life he was, how he helped make me the strong, stubborn, and determined woman I have become.
His “Northern ” attitude both helped and annoyed me at the same time. For example; he used to comment “I have a wife four daughters and even the dogs a bitch”.
During my moments of sadness, there are also fond memories: one I remember is he had a tiny shelf in the bathroom for “his” shaver. I wonder how he would have reacted if he’d known ‘others’ had used it without his knowledge?
Sadly we lost him to emphysema in 2004. The same disease as Campbell endured, although as you will probably know, Campbells’ outcome was so different. My father fought long and hard, in the end, his body capitulated. Although, even during the final days he never lost his spark, his cheek, or his inner strength.
I know my children and grandchildren are so lucky to still have their dad and grandad in their lives. I cannot forget that Campbell is with us because another child’s father lost his precious life. Their father’s selfless gift was to donate his organs. Surely, a gift beyond measure? Of course, we must not forget the incredible surgical team, and the organ donation network, whose work never ends. They may even be working as you read this, their ‘Fathers Day’ would be over if an organ becomes available
Campbell is still here to annoy us all in his lovely way. He is here to help Daniel work on his new car. Pestering Kaye with questions of how to use the fire stick, although we don’t know what to do with it. Cam’s mission is manifold, winding up our grandkids, discovering joy and laughter in every day. And lately to be a lovely but “rubbish nurse ” as he cared for me during a bout of flu. He completed the housework and even ventured into the supermarket… shopping is not his greatest loves.
On ‘Father’s Day’ there will be many thousands of people sending silent prayers of gratitude to the donors. They will be thinking of the donor’s families, whose dad, grandad, hubby or brother is no longer with them. Their tragedies have brought new lives to many thousands of people. There is no way we can fully reconcile the complex issues of donor/recipient. We have to accept the situation and give thanks to every person involved in each transplant.
This Father’s Day I will give thanks, that Campbell is here to enjoy time with his family and friends. I will spend more than the daily prayers of thanks for many unknown friends, with special thanks to “B”.