"Don't Worry Be Happy"
The Deane family attended a "Memorial Service" at North Shore Hospice for the unveiling of their glass brick dedicated to their Dad and Grandad, Ted Deane. Pauline Deane, Ted's Granddaughter wrote and read the following at the service.With a mischievous twinkle in his eye, and a quick sideways wink, we could always rely on Grandad to make any ordinary day ,something amazing! "Don't worry, Be happy", our Grandad would often say.
Grandad loved life. Nothing made him happier than to get outdoors, with a few grandkids in tow and do the things he loved such as fishing, gardening, fixing up basically anything that needed fixing and then finishing it off with an ice cold one 'for the road'. Fit as anything, it was nothing out of the ordinary for him to out-work any 20 something year old. A quiet family man with very little to say, his hardworking and kind nature earned him the respect of everybody he had the chance to meet.
During November 2009 our Grandad received the shocking news that he had throat cancer. The news shocked our Grandad to the core and we rallied around him, desperate to keep his spirits up and assure him that we were going to win this battle, as a family. Only days after the birth of his 6th Great Grandchild, Grandad went into his first round of surgery in the hopes of removing the cancer.
Another surgery and 12 weeks of radiation soon followed. It was heart wrenching watching our vibrant and charismatic grandfather suffer through the gruelling radiation programme, but still we hung onto the hope that it would soon be over and that life would soon get better.
After the completion of his course of radiation, we received the crushing news that the cancer had in fact spread to his lungs and that he was only expected to last another 3 months. Our exhausted grandfather struggled with the idea of leaving us as we worked around the clock to keep him comfortable. We relished the opportunity to have a bit of extra help, which we were generously provided by the trusty nurses of the West Auckland Hospice. Their knowledge and respect for our Grandad proved priceless and our usually private Grandad warmed up to their regular visits.
In June 2010 our Grandad's condition deteriorated further more and we were faced with the tough decision of 'what next'? Despite a history of cancer within our family, we were unfamiliar with the concept of a Hospice. Admittedly, as a family, we had always thought ourselves capable of 'caring for our own' right till the very end. Grandad was very adverse to the idea of the Hospice.
Meanwhile, his bouts of nausea grew so severe that we grew frustrated with our inability to provide him with the comfort he needed. The confusing cocktail of medication prescribed by the hospitals seemed to contradict one another. One medication appeared to cause nausea and the medicine aimed at treating that seemed to cause constipation and so forth. Despite sleepless nights and juggling all other life commitments in order to keep Grandad comfy, we were still way out of our depth. Grandad finally agreed to be admitted to the North Shore Hospice early July 2010.
The expert team quickly sprung into action, adjusting his medication according to his condition and his pain was managed effectively. Right from the day he was admitted, our Grandad was treated with the utmost respect and our family were blown away by the genuine degree of care and compassion offered by the entire Hospice team. We are a large family, to say the least, and not once were we made to feel out of place.
On any given night, there was at least two family members with him at all times, as time went on, and the number increased, we were even given the full use of one of the family rooms, which to us was priceless. We knew our time with our Grandad was limited and being able to spend as much time with him as possible, meant the world to us all. Watching him waste away was the worst.
To watch the person you love the most in the world suffer and fade before your very eyes and watch on helpless to stop it, proved to be devastating. Being the absolute soldier that he was, our Grandad refused to give up without a fight. Days soon became weeks and still, he fought on. Despite knowing the inevitable was all but around the corner, our Grandad dug deep and fought to stay with us for as long as he could.
Only 9 short months after being diagnosed with Cancer, our beloved Grandad, Edward Anthony Deane passed away peacefully during the night.
A year on, we look back on the memories of our Grandad with intense pleasure. We are all grateful in our own individual ways for the times we shared and special life lessons learned. We endeavour to live our lives in such a way as to do him proud, knowing full well that he wouldn't want it any other way.
Our family continues to grow, already having welcomed two more great grandchildren to the mix. The plaque that we unveil today is but a small reminder of our Grandad. We love him so and that will never change.
Though it was naturally the most horrific time in our lives, it remains that our time and experience as 'live in flatties' at the North Shore Hospice gave us an entirely new outlook on life. We cannot thank your team enough for offering us all that you did, when we needed it most. On behalf of our very large and extremely grateful family and of course, on behalf of our beloved Grandad, we thank you.
Written by Pauline Deane, 23.
Ted Deane's Granddaughter