I was surprised by the BBC website this morning, and not in a good way. One of the headlines stated that it is 25 years today since the King's Cross fire that claimed 31 lives.
This also means that it was 25 years ago today that I lost my Dad to cancer. This took a while to sink in. Twenty five years is such a long time to be without your Dad, especially when he was the only parent you had, and you were still getting used to being a parent yourself.
The reason the two events will be forever entwined is that my Dad was being rushed to London from Cornwall by ambulance overnight mere hours before the fire broke out, and because he was so ill (the cancer was in his heart) we were advised not to leave for London ourselves until we knew he had arrived at the London Chest Hospital. They were fully expecting him not to survive the journey.
As a result, by the time we reached London on that tragic morning, traffic was chaotic, emergency services were at stretching point, and even the police could do nothing to help us get to the hospital any quicker.
And this is where an unsung hero entered the fray, in the shape of a London Cabby! He did what none of the emergency services could do that morning. He got us across London to the hospital. It was not in time to speak to our dad, unfortunately, because his condition was so serious they couldn't wait to operate and had already taken him to the operating theatre, and he never regained consciousness. But the Cabby was awesome to try, and we will always be grateful to him for that.
So, there you are. It is never easy losing a loved one at any time, but on a particularly well known date you can find that instead of toddling along nicely with your thoughts full of happy memories of your Dad, a news report can send your memory flying back to the fateful day as if it had only just happened.
My thoughts, therefore, today, are not only with my Dad, but with all the other people who lost their lives that day. With a special mention to Alexander Fallon, a homeless Scotsman who had been living rough in London, and who was finally identified in 2004. Gods bless.
Take care, and hug your loved ones. :-)
I've chosen these LOLs because I think my Dad would have appreciated them. :-)