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Today, four years ago, my Dad passed away. It was expected, sad yet a relief. Anyone who has watched a beloved parent struggle with the loss of dignity that accompanies very old age will understand that mixture of emotions. Dad loved a good shirt and Mum loved to buy him shirts so tonight's puzzle is a selection of beautiful men's dress shirt fabrics.

Dad passed on to meet with his Saviour. Dad was the finest gentleman and a gentle man too. His priorities were - God first, his beloved wife Trish, second, family - children, grandchildren, sister, brothers, third; and church, the community, his work and responsibilities shifting according to circumstances and demands.
He was honest to a fault, a workaholic, a great host, and despite being kak-handed, not as in left handed, but as being really bad at practical tasks, he would uncomplainingly shift furniture, hang wallpaper (he got quite good at that) and do the washing up to help Mum.

Despite hating hospital visiting, if Mum was in hospital for any of the numerous times she landed up there, he would visit her afternoon and evening, sitting there quietly to keep her company. He adored her and would take up the cudgels on her behalf if he thought it was warranted.

He was a naturally impatient man who could be endlessly patient if it was needed. Dad spent many evenings when I was 14 and 15 trying to get the fundamentals of algebra and geometry to make sense to me. It was one of the few things that he failed utterly. He was considerably more successful in teaching me punctuality and the ethics of hard work and diligence.

At the end, he still did not want to go on, mostly because he worried about Mum and how she would fare without him. Despite his great faith he fought to the end. Dylan Thomas has it right:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Credits: Mood Fabrics, Ralph Lauren, Thibaut Design, IndiaMart, Schumacher, Joann, Rebecca Atwood, Kravet Design, Wayfair, Sailrite, Online Fabric Store, Waverly, Perigold, Philip Jeffries, Cole & Son
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Thank you Ta_Mosquito and Marya. I hope you get to see your dad soon - that is a long time to go without seeing him. Neither of my folks would have had much time for today's nonsense either. We are lucky to be able to remember them. Jayne

Comforting to see those patterns that were familiar to us. Sadly, my parents have passed. Sad for me, I should say. I am sure neither of them would condone the nonsense of today (worldwide). I miss them.

Thank you for this puzzle. The plaids in the top row remind me of my own dad (who is still living, but due to border restrictions I haven't been able to see in 20 months and counting).

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