Friday 17 October 2014

William Cassidy

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My mobile phone rang around 6 am on the morning of Sunday the 12th October 2014. It was on the floor next to my bed as I slept. Before I even answered it I knew it could only mean one thing because no one phones you at that time of morning unless they have something major to tell you. Still half a sleep my voice had a tremble in its wake as I answered its ring with a simple word "Hello." 

My auntie was on the other end and she was straight to the point. "Tadger has passed away." That's the nickname my step-father William Cassidy has been known by for many years and which morphed into the character Badger in both Frenzy a Daniel Jones Story, and also in  the sequel Daniel Jones Doom that comes out later this year. 

I couldn't say much and within the minute the call was finished, and then my tears began to flow. The wife could sense what had happened and followed. The grief that wafted through our bedroom woke up my daughter who came into our room concerned. She kept asking what was wrong and when I finally steadied myself enough to tell her the news it sent her into a fit of crying and howls. Finally all the commotion woke my young son and he too came into our bedroom asking what was wrong. When we told him his reaction was totally different. He turned without saying a word and then walked calmly back to his own room, climbed back into bed and then hid under his sheets, refusing all requested to come back.

We all handle grief and sad news in different ways, but the one constant is that it feels as if our own world had changed for ever.

The wife and I, and the children had visited Tadger the afternoon before he passed away in the James Pagent Hospital in Gorleston. Two weeks that's all it had taken! Two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. That Saturday night after our visit to see him there was a terrible thunder storm that sent out lightning flashing across the sky, and as I stood looking out of the kitchen window I knew something was going to happen within the next 24 hours that would cause me a lot of pain. It reminded me of the scene that unfolded when Jesus died on the cross and I knew then that God was coming to take my step-father's soul back to where it belongs.

This week has been terrible, but I have been thankful that William Cassidy has been part of my life. At the time when I was only my son's age, and my parents divorced, I found it just as hard then as I do now to cope with the loss that I now feel; but since my late teens I have been grateful, and have considered myself very lucky, to have two mums and two dads. Tadger never had any children of his own so I was always treated as his only son. I've appreciated this fact even more since I have two children of my own because they have had the luxury of having at some point in their lives six grand parents who have shown them nothing but love.

I have handled many funerals at the local parish church and one constant you always hear during the service is when adults stand to say a few words. They normally lament, and wished, they had spent more time with the person that now lay in the coffin next to them. This is one thing I won't have to say because I have always enjoyed family life and have tried over the years to spend, and do as many things as possible, with all my family.

All I can say to all of you out there who are reading this blog is that you never know when the thunder storm is heading towards someone you love. So go and enjoy their life now before it's too late.



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