Around this time 7 years ago I went through the most difficult time in my life.
I remember this time clearly and with great sadness. I was living in England and newly married and losing my father to cancer. I felt so torn between wanting to be with my husband and my father and family.
I was flying back and forth ever so frequently, not wanting to make it too obvious to my father that his days were numbered (although I am sure he knew but never discussed this with us). But there came a time when I got that dreaded call – it was time to catch that plane without delay.
I remember packing and crying and waved to my husband – I told him I have no idea when I will be back – I had to be back to my family and stay there until I was ready to fly back.
Little did I know that my father’s life was ever so close to the end. It felt like he was waiting to say his last words to me and then leaving this world to meet The Lord.
You see my dad and I were close, very close – from a young age I used to help him in his very small shop of cigarettes in Sliema and have countless discussions and yes some arguments too.
He was not the kind of father who hugged and kissed but he was always there for us and provided for us no matter what. I still miss him – a lot and even writing this I feel the pain but I want to remember him and want everyone else to remember him for whom he was – a humble, hard working man having had a small tobacco shop in Sliema, I often wonder what he would say to me now that I am in politics – does he approve?
He always brought us up to be fair and he never told us who he voted for – he would say ‘il-vot sigriet’. On the 22nd May we commemorate his loss and I take the opportunity to pass a word of encouragement to those who are going through the battle of cancer and those who lost a loved one – let us stand together and give each other strength and put partisan politics aside – this surely is far more important – it is our life and that of our cherished ones.
A big thank you to my great family – immediate and extended – a true pillar of support.