Jo’s Monday walk : Saying goodbye


Aleksander Boleslaw Szustakiewicz

26.2.1928 – 2.10.2016

My heart is too heavy to walk with you today.  Some of you will know that Dad died whilst I was in the Algarve.  He had a long, and often-times happy life, and made many friends along the way.  He was never happier than when surrounded by family, and it brought real joy to his life when he was reunited with those in his native Poland, after an absence of 64 years.

Tomorrow he will be surrounded by love as we say our goodbyes, remember and celebrate his life.  He was a wonderful Dad, and was ever present in my life.  The loss will be huge, but the connection to Poland will endure, as he would have wanted.

walking logo

I know you will excuse me from commenting this week, but whilst I was away the walks continued to roll in.  I would like you to share them in my absence.  Many thanks in anticipation of your tolerance and kind thoughts.  I will be back walking with you next week.


Cathy’s been romping all over Iceland!  This is just one of many.  Enjoy!

North Iceland : The Black Lava Field & Solfataras of Leirhnjukur at Krafla

Meantime, Becky is edging eastwards with a whole lot of history :

Going east on the Thames Path

Not just the home of golf!  Ask Elaine!

St. Andrews

Autumn as you don’t very often see it.  Through Cardinal’s eyes :

Autumn Streets

Some day I must make it to Sicily.  Pretty please!  Lady Lee loves it :

Ancient theatre of Taormina

When Sue waxes lyrical you just have to sit up and pay attention!

Larch Trees in Canada- The Beauty Queens

Serious Sue (I’m differentiating  🙂  ) kindly lets me ride her mobility scooter at Wisley :

Signs of Autumn and a Sculpture Trail

Drake has found himself a jewel of a home in Alsace :

High five surroundings

And Biti, the most beautiful ‘shell’ house you’ll ever see :

Ballymaloe Cooking School- The Shell House

Debbie tells the story of Wojtek, the bear who went to war.  If you were curious about him after my last post, here it is!

Soldier Bear 

Geoff goes strutting his stuff around London :

Crystal Palace to Grove Park

Let Jaspa take you to another fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site :

The Forts and Tunnels of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

I knew very little about Milwaukee till I read Jackie’s post :

Day 3- Milwaukee

Spicy chilli hot chocolate?  Have some with Violet Sky :

St. Boniface and Gabrielle Roy

Navarra has such a nice sound to it.  Leya would love to show you around :

Ziga, Baztan- Natural, Yet Sophisticated

Take care of each other.


  1. I’m so sorry about the loss of your father, Jo. I’m just now catching up on my friends blogs now that I’m home from our holiday and didn’t know of his passing. I know that he will be missed but you have your wonderful memories of him to comfort you.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, Jo. Sorry I’m late with condolences. I was far away and I disconnect from the internet when I travel. Wishing you much peace in this sad time.

    1. I usually do the same, Julie, and I’ve only been back on the blog for a couple of days since my return. It knocked the stuffing out of me for a while, but I have to acknowledge that it wasn’t such a bad ending from Dad’s point of view. He managed to hold on to his independence and I’m happy for that. Thank you 🙂

  3. Very sorry to read your sad news Jo . Somehow we know it will happen but ’tis always too soon and when unexpected it leaves one reeling . You’ve wonderful memories I know of your dear dad that will keep you strong .
    Sending belated hugs ( I’ve been away ) Poppy xx

    1. I missed you! Hope it was enriching. 🙂 My first reaction, after the shock, was that he left on his own terms, without having to sacrifice the car or go into sheltered accommodation, Poppy. He came perilously close to it. 🙂 Someone was looking out for him.

  4. Deepest condolences for your and your famliy the loss, dear Jo.

    Memories can never be taken from us – behind the aching loss, we must remember to be pleased about that we have these memories in our hearts and that we were so lucky to get the opportunity to get these wonderful memories – those memories must never be overshadowed by sorrow – take good care of yourself, my friend.

    1. Thanks, Drake. I’ve missed you, but will be back to the blog next week. Dad had a fine ‘send off’ surrounded by family, as he would have wanted. He was a kind and caring man who attracted a lot of love. I hope I can say that when my time comes.

  5. So very sorry for your loss Jo. My deepest sympathy to you. May the good memories give you light and strength.
    Beautiful photograph.


  6. Sorry for your loss Jo. There is no help for the loss of a parent. Only time. When my dad died I could barely move for two months, and even then I had to make myself. Wishing you all the strength and comfort you need.

  7. So sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad, Jo. Time is relentless and takes chunks of our heart with each loss. As long as your Dad is around in memories, he still lives. Blessings…

    1. Meg, you are the kindest lady. Thank you for the candles. That is the loveliest gesture and much appreciated. The day overflowed with love and was all that Dad would have wanted. I will email when I find a little space and time.

  8. So sorry about your loss, Jo. Grateful and wonderful memories will ease the pain slightly as time goes on and you keep walking in his footsteps. Take care and a big hug for you and your family.

  9. It’s so wonderful that you had such a great relationship with your father, Jo, one you will always carry in your heart. I know you will miss him dearly. Love and peace to you and your family, dear Jo. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time and know that we all hold you in our prayers. Hugs and love. xxx

    1. Thanks for the email, Jude. It made me cry. I will be in touch when I’m a bit more together but Dad had a wonderful send off yesterday, And now he’s at peace. 🙂

      1. Aw, sorry Jo, didn’t mean to make you cry. Rest up now and take care of yourself. It’s a very emotional roller-coaster time. Off to daughter’s today, Barca tomorrow. Catch up when I’m back 🙂

  10. Jo, I am so very sorry to have read this sad news. I’ve temporarily (?) left the WordPress world, as you’re aware, but still at times open a post or two. (Two might be saying a lot) My heartfelt condolences, my friend. I can’t know precisely how you feel but my heart, as many others, knows this feeling of helpless and sorrow. I’m here for you, should you need an ear. I sincerely mean that. I’m still not able to wrap my mind around my mother’s absence, but my love for her, and the love of the people around me cares me through. Be well, my faraway friend. With love, Gemma

    1. Gemma, it’s so very lovely to hear from you. Just the other day I was thinking it’s time to give Gem another poke 🙂 I have been surrounded by love and support, as was Dad. People are so very kind, and yesterday was made wonderful for him. He’s at peace now and I’m finding my way. I will email when things settle a little.

  11. So sorry again for your sad loss Jo. Thinking of you at this difficult time and hope tomorrow goes as well as these things can in the circumstances. Lovely photo and a special tribute to your dear dad, take care xxx

  12. immaginavo che la tua lunga assenza doveva avere un motivo preciso, ma certo non avrei mai voluto che fosse così triste!
    le parole non servono a molto, ma a volte pensandole sonovere:
    non piangere perché l’hai perduto, sorridi per il lungo tempo che con lui hai passato, sorridi ai ricordi e al suo Amore che terrai sempre nel tuo cuore chiuso come in uno scrigno prezioso
    tutto il mio affetto per te cara Giovanna e per la tua famiglia tutta

  13. Oh, Jo – I am so very sorry to read about this. Your photo shows a man full of the joy of life. My own father had a similar attitude. He will have been gone for six years this Christmas. I think of him every single day. Take care tomorrow, and in the days and weeks to come.

  14. So very sorry to hear your news, Jo…. My sincere condolences to you and yours, my thoughts are winging their way north to be with you. Your father sounds to have been a lovely man, and you must take comfort from the fact he was so happy to be with his family, and later in life was able to reunite with his Polish family and experience happy times. xx

  15. Condolences from us in Gib, Jo. Hope tomorrow goes as well as it can.

    After attending my husband’s stepfather’s funeral in S Wales, I realised the value of the family wake. We had a small one (family only) at my mum’s house after my dad’s funeral and it went really well. Truly a good way to celebrate a life and helps come to terms with the loss and sense of grief.

  16. Jo, hard to ‘like’ this post, more to say you’re in my thoughts and my heart goes out to you. So sorry for your loss. May tomorrow bring strength and comfort being with your family and friends to celebrate his life, to say goodbye. My sister-in-law is Polish and I have been with them at key life moments and never fail to be moved by their passion for family, singing & food. A powerful unifying force. Hugs ❤️

  17. Oh Jo, such a hard thing to bear. You beloved and wonderful Dad. My sincerest condolences but I hope that as time passes and the pain of your loss lessens, you will be able to look back and remember the joy you shared with him and the happiness you bought him with the family reunions you were able to bring together. A big, healing hug to you.

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