hawkeye (hawkeye7) wrote,

Farewell Frank

My Dad's sister Betty's husband Frank hasn't been well for a long time. He had a heart bypass and then a couple of years ago was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given eighteen months to live. Despite this, he looked fairly well when I saw him a Christmas time. He was easily tired but not bedridden or anything. However, on the Tuesday before Good Friday he had a fall and the ambulance people took him to a hospice.

Although just across the road from the High School my neices attend and only around the corner from where my sister lives, I'd never seen the place before. It was a truly beautiful place, nestled away in a wonderful wooded setting. Everyone gets their own room, the staff are first rate and nothing is too much trouble. It's absolutely free too. Everything. Even phone calls.

Frank has been a feature of the extended family for longer than I could remember. Frank and my Dad were stationed at Pucka together in the 1950s, although Dad was in the artillery and Frank was a tankie. When he moved to Sydney for a time in the 1970s, the trip to Sydney became part of each family vacation. Frank was a travel agent for many years and booked all my overseas trips for me except last years' which, Frank having retired, still went through his old firm. He was truly knowledgeable about travel in Southeast Asia and regularly made visits to Hong Kong, China and Singapore. At one point he was a guest of Philippine President Marcos. He helped open the Philippines and mainland China to tourism.

While I was down in Melbourne, Dad and I would drive Betty down to the hospice each morning (she can't drive). Frank's condition worsened and he wasn't eating or drinking anything. Looking at the multiracial staff in attendance, he joked that it was just like Singapore.

Last night, Frank flew home for the last time.

No funeral is planned, just a memorial service. He left his body to the University of Melbourne.

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