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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Monday, 30 January 2012

An Officer and a Gentleman

Ron Harman
2nd May 1936 - 17th January 2012

I don't really know how to write this, but, it is with a very heavy heart, that I write of the death of my dad. A true officer and a gentleman.

He served in the forces for 22 years (leaving as an officer), and then moved on to management within the logistics field, finally retiring some 15 or so years ago. He was always happy to lend a hand to anyone and had many anecdotes to share with those he spent time with. Always a gentleman, he never smoked, and drank only occassionally. Sadly, such a lack of vices cannot protect any of us against the march of time.

I'm very glad to say that we looked after him at home and he died in the loving folds of his family, surrounded by familiar sights and sounds, safe and secure in the knowledge that he had created a wonderful strong family unit, which was never diminished by the miles that often separated us.

I have many quibbles with the NHS, but the care and support that we received is not one of them. Caring for dad at home, saved the NHS some £1,500 per day, but, in place of that, we were provided with carers in the morning and evening, along with nursing care each day, and on emergency call whenever it was needed. Quite often, mum and I had sorted dad out before the carers arrived, but overall, the experience was a very positive one. Sadly, we had to call the nurses out several times late at night, but, they travelled the 1/2 hour without any delay, providing specialist medical care whenever needed. They knew we only called them when we were desparate and assured us that the people on call were 'working' their proper hours, so there was no need for us to wait before calling.

Within a short period of assessment, it was decided that we should be provided with a hospital bed. This arrived within just a few days. The delivery men were very funny. They helped me move dad into a reclining chair, so that we could put the bed in, and practically threw the existing bed up the stairs out of the way! I'm sure that if I'd given them the sheets to make the bed, they would have done that too - well, maybe not. A few hours later, I checked in on dad, and he was sleeping soundly in the chair, with mum asleep in the hospital bed. Both of them were snoring gently - a perfect set of bookends.

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