Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Cyprian Fernandes: Joe Gonsalves: humility with greatness
June 13 2017:
Sydney Australia, José (JOE) Gonsalves, born 24 February
1933 (ex-Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya). He lost
a tremendous battle with Alzheimer’s. He fought so hard, long after he
lost the ability to recognise family and friends. Beloved husband of
Natty and father to Jocelyn, Sharlyn, Tashlyn/Joshua and grandfather to Jonah.
Joe’s parents were the late Josino and Violante
Gonsalves (Navelim). Brother of late Phyllis/late Francis, late
Sophie/ late Walter and Monica/late Neves and includes several cousins, nephews
Alzheimer's took away our dad's memories but our parents’
love for each other still shone through - his heart never forgot. Every time our
mum walked into the room, his eyes would light up, he would smile and reach for
her hand. His reaction was just beautiful and heart-warming. Theirs is a love to strive for. In the last few weeks, our dad had been hospitalised
twice and this took a toll on him both physically and mentally. For the most
part he was asleep but every time he opened his eyes, he'd look at all of us in
the room. When he made eye contact with my mum he
would have a beautiful smile just for her. We were extremely lucky - and will be forever grateful -
that we had a couple of days in hospital where our dad was awake for the whole
day. He was alert and, at times, aware. This was something we had not seen
him do for a couple of years! During these two days,
he hummed to music and he looked at us all like he was actually seeing us
and sometimes recognising us. He laughed a little with us -- or maybe it
was at us 🙂. He tried to talk to us, although it sounded like
babble. When we held his hand he would move his hand to the music as if he was
dancing with us. We each got one-on-one time to talk to our dad and say
everything we wanted to say. We ensured he knew how much he was loved and
appreciated by us all and how much we will continue to try and make him proud
of us the way we are proud of him.
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