End of an Era

It’s been an emotional week for me. On Monday I went to visit Dad in hospital. He wasn’t very talkative, but was reasonably alert for the majority of my visit, so I was able to tell him about our award. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled when I told him the news.

Monday was also the funeral of one of my old school teachers, so as I was in Wakefield anyway, I decided to go and pay my respects. Miss Malham taught the final year in our Junior school, and was the kind of teacher we were always scared of in the more junior years, but who ended up being one of our favourites when we looked back.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were long production days, getting ready for the Mersea Food Festival. The weather forecast was favourable, so I was hoping for a busy weekend.

Having set up at Mersea on Friday, my brother called me to tell me that the hospital can now do no more for Dad and we need to start thinking about end of life care. I wrestled with the notion of packing everything up again so that I could go and visit on Saturday, but decided against it in the end. Consequently I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for selling chocolate on Saturday. And then we got the call on Sunday morning to say he was going downhill. Again, I wrestled with the idea of heading straight up to Yorkshire, but it being a 3-4 hour journey, was that the most sensible option? We decided to take everything one step at a time and first job was to retrieve the stock from Mersea and pack the stall down. By the time we’d done that, Dad had passed away peacefully.

So yes, I’m feeling very sad at the moment, but he’s just a few weeks shy of his 87th birthday and has had a full and successful life, so there’s plenty to celebrate as well. RIP Dad. We’ll miss you.

Hilary Delamare

Choctails® was founded by husband and wife team Simon and Hilary Delamare. Simon's suggestion of putting cocktail flavours into chocolate took Hilary's chocolate-making hobby to new heights, until in May 2012, the decision was made to turn the hobby into a full time business. The domestic kitchen became a production factory by day, and the dining room was given up to become a place where hand-made chocolate is crafted

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