On Saturday the 16th of April, Sox and I got home from good friends. Sox was getting ready to go to work. I was pretty tired, about to get into my pjs when he kissed me goodbye and started to walk out the door. It was then that I got a call from his mom. She had been trying to reach him, but with no luck. She told us that George, Sox’s Dad had had dinner and then was moved to the TV room with his nurse. He wasn’t really moving, she wasn’t sure if he was breathing and we needed to hurry.
I called an ambulance, jumped into the car and we raced there, with our hazards on. When we walked in and saw him lying in his favourite chair, I knew that my Father in law had passed away. The ambulance arrived about 3 minutes after us and when they walked in, the give away was that they didn’t rush to his chair. They did the checks and confirmed what I was hoping not to be true.
George has been sick for a while with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, and even though the deterioration has been evident, he was still so strong and it’s still a shock. I guess we were preparing for him to get worse, although, now in hindsight, what’s worse than this? The “worse” we were preparing for was an even greater deterioration, feeding tubes and so on.
I’m just so glad that he is no longer trapped in his body, he is no longer suffering and he left this world on his terms, at home, in his favourite chair and not in hospital with tubes!
Sox, his mom, his brother Vassili, sister Sofi (who returned from Greece for the funeral), the rest of the family and I are absolutely devastated.
However, it doesn’t make it easier for us who miss him and selfishly want him here with us.
I never got to meet him completely healthy, and even though he was already quite advanced in his disease, there was no denying how wonderful he was. His eyes always twinkled, he smiled often, he never complained about his condition and he always squeezed my hand lovingly and gave me lots of filakia (kisses in Greek.) I affectionately called him Afentikó – the Greek word for “boss.”
I’ve never seen a family more loving and more united. The love that Sox has for his Mom and Dad is absolutely heart warming and unexplainable – it’s AMAZING! It’s also why it’s so heartbreaking.
The last words he ever said to me was a few weeks ago. It took him a lot of energy and effort to form words and when he did, he managed to say: “I love you.” in English too. I will always treasure that.
I’m so grateful that I was so accepted into his family. I’m even more grateful that he got to see Sox and I get married and I really do believe he held on to celebrate that with us. He got to see all his family together too as his daughter, Sofi and his nephews came out from Greece.I miss him already and we now need to find a new “norm” without him.
On the 16 April 1978, George took his family and moved to provide a better life and made Cape Town his home. 38 years later, the Angels came to take him to his new home in Heaven.
RIP Afentikó. You will always be loved.
This is the poem that I read out at his funeral and also put into his funeral program.