Patrick Brian Moran
08 Jan 1928 – 19 May 2013
While Mark worked hard on sorting out our broken engine after our arrival under tow into St Augustine, I was otherwise preoccupied - constantly in contact with my mother and sister back in New Zealand. My Dad’s health was fading fast, at 85 he had had an excellent innings with very few setbacks until developing dementia in his early 80’s. For the last year he has been in full time care in the Dementia Unit at the Retirement Village where Mum and Dad have an apartment.
With Balvenie safely attached to a Municipal Mooring and our friends Pete and Kourtney off Norna keeping an eye on her, it was tickets booked, bags packed, transfer to Jacksonville Airport, flight to Charlotte – North Carolina, then the next flight to Los Angeles. It was here we heard the sad news from home that Dad had slipped away during the night, we were home 12 hours later.
Sad Occasion But Wonderful Reunion
The following week was a busy time. My sister Denise and her husband Robert had already done a marvellous job of taking care of all the arrangements to be made. Mum was holding it all together pretty well, with such a wonderful community at the Retirement Village to support her she barely had a moment to herself.
Our Dad was a quiet man, never one to join clubs or have a big circle of friends – he would have been truly overwhelmed by the turnout at his funeral. He was the last of his family, the youngest. We were amazed that people had seen the funeral notice - 2 long lost cousins both in their 80’s, Dad’s nephew Bruce and his son, and a work colleague from 25 years ago had all seen the paper and came to pay their respects.
My cousin Carla along with her husband Brian and two daughters flew up from Wellington for the day, Mum and Dads longest friends Christine and Charlie drove all the way from Levin and my other cousin Andrea, her husband Kerry and my Aunty Jo drove up from Hamilton. It was truly wonderful to have this chance to have a get together after many years.
But it didn’t stop with family, a wonderful collection of friends also came to farewell Dad. They say a funeral should be a celebration of life, thank you all for making such a sad occasion a special time for us.
The Days Flew By
Our time at home passed by quickly. We caught up with friends as time allowed, Mark managed to slip in a couple of yacht races down at the Ponsonby Cruising Club and I spent as much time with Mum as I could, helping to sort out Dads affairs.
But we couldn’t stay long. Balvenie was sitting in Florida and the official start to the Hurricane Season is 01 June, we needed to head back to America and get north as soon as we could.
Back to Balvenie
With as much done as we could do at home, it was time for another sad farewell to friends and family. We flew on Air New Zealand back to Los Angeles, spent the night there then got a very early flight across to Atlanta, a connection onto Jacksonville and a prearranged shuttle down to St Augustine. The marina kindly ferried us back out to Balvenie, she was sitting happily awaiting our return, no worse off from the effects of Tropical Storm Andrea which had passed through the previous week.