My Father

Today, I am attempting to distract myself from the fact that I said good-bye to my father yesterday. It was the worst moment of my life, and it was the best moment ever – to repurpose the famous old line (Thank you, Dickens). See, my father had Inclusion Body Myositis and Pulmonary Fibrosis. In the last few years, he lost his ability to walk so he was in a powered wheelchair. He also lost the ability to eat, and was forced to get his nutrition through a feeding tube. This is a man who loved to cook and loved to eat (although he was more sensible about it than I). He was a man who loved life, and who lived it.

Last Friday, my wonderful daddy went to the ER to have his lungs suctioned, which is something he had to have done as pneumonia is a regular side problem of the IBM. While there, he went from alert to completely unfocused. They rushed him to a nearby ICU, and I arrived in the middle of the night after a six hour drive. Saturday, they told us we would need to make a decision – and soon. Sunday, he was alert and seemed to be improving. Monday we went home. Yesterday, we returned because he had gone back downhill. The decision was made for us because my dad, despite being the strongest person in the world, did not want to be kept alive on life support. Neither do I, by the way. Let me put this out there now – like my father, I am refusing life support and I want to be cremated immediately.

So, I was by his side as he gasped his last breath, his hand in mine. My wonderful step-mother and her niece sang him into Heaven, and I can think of nothing he would have wanted more. I am not a person of faith, but my father was. And his faith brought him comfort, which brings me comfort. I know that he is pain free, and walking again.

But today, I need something to distract me from the pain so I turned to research. Specifically addresses and numbering. I found the best website for information on house numbering and street names. After reading this, I have decided that it doesn’t necessarily matter what I number a residence – as long as I get the street names right.

At the bottom of the article, there is a paragraph with some wonderful ideas. I am already incorporating them into the project I will be burying myself in so that I can manage the pain. Let me share that here with you, too.

The lack of precision or regulation in the naming of streets and numbering of houses offers any number of opportunities for messages to be mis-delivered or to otherwise go astray in a Regency romance novel. Perhaps the intended recipient of a missive might live on one of those streets which shared the same name as one or more other streets. A footman or maid new to the metropolis might not realize there were two George-streets and took a secret love note to the house with the right number, but on the wrong street. How might that unintended recipient respond to that communication? Or, perhaps an orphaned young lady and her siblings come to the city to seek their reclusive guardian, but cannot locate him because he has never put the number on his house? Mayhap a French spy comes to London on some nefarious mission but is confused by the house numbering scheme and is delayed in meeting his English contact. Dear Regency Authors, how might you employ the mish-mash of street naming and numbering in Regency London to advance your story?

What about you? How can you incorporate this into your current project?

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