I bought my notebook from the Migros at Yalıkavak Marina. As schools will be opened soon, they have already prepared a stationary section for return to school days. I chose a notebook with care and prepared my pen.

7. September. 2009 - Monday (1. Day)
I will write my notes moment by moment and then pass them to my webpage. Let’s say we have a good trip.
I am at Yalıkavak Marina today to take the boat from Bodrum to Göcek.
This week Aytaç is in Moscow and Sarp is in Göreme with his friends who came to see him from US.
This trip has turned to be a real joy with Serap, Bob and Melisa who came from Philadelphia to spend their holidays and met us in Bodrum. I just arrived at the marina and today is one of those standard stormy days. It says “Quail Passage Storm” for 7 September on the storm calendar.  The yearly storm calendar has never mistaken on the Turkish coasts. While I try to write these lines accompanied by rocking of the boat and strong wind on the upper deck, seagulls, perched on the rocks, wait for the storm to pass together with me. My guests arrive and settle in their cabins. Oya was also in Bodrum; she joined us and we had dinner all together. Bob and Melisa were really patient enough to endure the continuous chatting of the three school mates. We will sail tomorrow. Oya leaves us that night and goes to her friend whom she stays with.
Menu: Grilled Chicken and Beef Fillet – Rice – Salad –Wrapped aubergines in olive oil – Zucchini in olive oil and Pinto Beans

8. September.2009 – Tuesday (2.Day)
We raised anchor at six in the morning. The night before, we decide to sail before the daylight. On our return from Yalıkavak to Turgutreis, the dead waves left over from the storm yesterday were forcing the body of the boat and beating it from the bottom with repeated booms. Our destination is Bozburun now which will take about two hours. When the sea calms down, I decide to go on sleeping.
We entered Bozburun a while ago, as the sun lights got warmer. We found a quiet cove and anchored there.  While setting our breakfast table, we bought pita from a fisherman who approached us with his boat. We had a good breakfast and we read the daily newspapers. There were many floods in İstanbul. The temperature has dropped down 10 degrees. We can feel that here too; the wind blows cooler now... Offff.... Summer is about to end..
A fisherman approaches. He has a big porgy on his hand and asks: “We have just caught this, would you like to buy it?”  After some bargaining and chatting, we take photos and buy the fish. The sea is warm. It has stored up all the heath of the summer; it wraps one all around. One feels as if it relaxes and caresses one. We swim and chat at the same time, reciprocating the days we were apart.  
Lunch Menu: Macaroni – prepared with various sauces according to choice. Creamed Mushroom Sauce, Tomato Sauce. My favourite is white cheese with lots of parsley. There is also grated parmesan and roasted minced meet.
Purslane Salad with garlic yoghurt, Potato Salad (dressed with olive and egg) and Leek in olive oil.
After lunch, we have some sunbath; we chat and sink into our books.  I am planning to make a surprise; therefore, I secretly go on writing my diary.
We don’t forget tea and gözleme(Turkish style pan cakes) hour.  As days go shorter, it gets dark earlier.
Goats are bleating on the shore. I call Gülden, she loves these goats. We laugh all together... We play games.
Dinner Menu: Fish Soup – Salicornia Salad – Shepherd’s Salad – Fish fillets (Porgy) cooked in teflon – Stuffed Chard in olive oil.
We play games; Serap, Melisa and myself. Bob reads. We take a small walk  around the boat.
Off !!!  We have eaten a lot.
We will have to get up early tomorrow.
We will be sailing off again.
9. September.2009 – Wednesday, (3. Day)
We raise anchor at 7 o’clock in the morning. The noise of the drawing anchor sounds as murmur to me in my cabin. I do not want to wake up. The engine sounds like lullaby and I fall asleep again. No dreams.  It is like a passage between sleepiness and wakefulness.
All of a sudden the speed of the boat and the sound of the engine decelerate and I know that we are entering Göcek Bay from Fethiye Bay. I go to the upper deck at once and put on my bathing suit. The smell of the air changes and I start to smell the pine tree. We are at Göcek!!!  It’s as if the boat says “home, home sweet home!”  Göcek’s calm waters surround us. We anchor at Panço Cove at Domuz Island. The colour of the sea is turquoise. The light wind sends light chills on the water. We cannot resist it anymore; we pass over breakfast and jump into the sea.
Fish swim quietly underneath us.
Then we have breakfast… Roast Village Pita, Butter, Bergamot Jam, Variety of Cheese, Tomato and Cucumber and Egg with Turkish Sausages cooked in frying pan
We swim for a long while.
Now we can eat lunch and dinner on the upper deck. Göcek’’s weather is like lemonade. In the evenings, we sit under the stars.
Lunch Menu; Grilled Meat Balls – Piyaz – Shepherd’s Salad – Bulgur Pilaff with Aubergines – Green Beans in olive oil – Purslane Salad (with yoghurt and garlic) and....  Beer!!
Dinner Menu; Chicken roasted in spices – Salad – Roast Potatoes – Zucchini in olive oil.
I think we will go to sleep early tonight. 
We drowse off.
We travelled very early in the morning. We are tired.
Some chatting, some stone games and we go to sleeeeep.

10. September.2009 – Thursday (4th Day)
We go on chatting with our feet swinging at the back of the boat. For a moment, we think that this is last day of our holiday. One loses time concept during these trips like this. Then realize that we have one more day and we feel happy. We will go back tomorrow, that is on Friday. I will go to Istanbul with Melisa and Serap and Bob will pass to Bodrum spend the rest of their holiday.
We swim a lot and we sail towards the little cove.
It is 2 o’clock; Hasan Kaptan calls out to me while I swim… He says “Dr. Hakan calls!” 
I have a pang inside with no reason. I try to reach out the boat but my crawls do not suffice. I shout “WHAT’S HAPPENED”. He says, your father... I say, “Sooo..”  “Dr. Hakan is going there at once; your father has fallen” “he will call again from the hospital“. I try to swim fast but it is as if my body gets heavier, the boat has never been that far. 
I say to myself “Get calm”. I go into the boat breathless and call my sons. 
Aytaç calls me from Moscow. He has decided to return home one day ago and he is already at the airport. 
I inform him that my father has fallen. 
The doctor calls back:  "I think he has broken something, I will arrange an ambulance and we go to the hospital” he says.
It’s as if time has stopped. 
I am now at the airport waiting for my flight and writing these lines. 
A kind of weird tranquillity has come over me, as if something that I expected has happened. I fly with the 19.30 plane. 
They inform me from the hospital that my father’s leg bone has been broken somewhere near the hip bone. “You know, the bone ends like a fist” the doctor says, “the fracture is there.” My God, please help us.

1. Day of the Hospital – Thursday (10. September.2009) 9 p.m.
I went to the hospital directly from the plane that I got on with wet hair.
We are at Acıbadem Kozyatağı Hospital. Alp meets me at the door. Sarp is there together with my father, at the intensive care. He is in great agony. With the pain killers they have given him, he is between sleepiness and wakefulness. I kiss his hair. Aytaç runs and catches up from Moscow. They will operate him. They say that they will make blood tests and wait for him to turn stable. They also say that he can go to his room tomorrow.

2. Day of the Hospital – Friday (11. September.2009)
We get settled in room 505. We arrange a nurse who will take care of him for 24 hours; my father grumbles saying “Let’s go home”... He has pain.  He has been given serums, pain killers. He cannot eat, he has intravenal feeding. I sit down by the window and write these lines into my diary. I weep but am relieved. I pray and wish for the good. My mind is filled with stupid ideas like, if I write, my prayers will be more effective. Alp and Ceylan come. They have holiday plans, I tell them to go on... “We will wait for the operation anyway”.  “You can return by then”. I leave to stay with Cem and Emre. Alp and Ceylan go on the boat.

3. Day of the Hospital – Saturday (12. September.2009)
I sit down by the window of the hospital room again; I try not to catch with his painful eyes. Seeing me writing soothes him. To go out of the hospital and spend time with Emre and Cem is like looking through two windows of life. My dear father at the age of 87 and my little darlings at the ages of 3 and 2...
My father, looking at me with his big blue eyes... When he was a baby, he had parents and beloved ones who smelt and loved him dearly and looked into his eyes with care. And now, he looks right into the pupil of my eye and says “take me out from here; if you don’t, I won’t be your father.” He caresses my hair and says “Let’s go”.
Being totally helpless, I burst into tears and cry bitterly.
What is this ordeal of life? Our pleasures, bliss and attachment to life like this; our love, anger...
We are programmed in this way...

Cem got a cold. He couldn’t sleep well at night. Then Emre got cold as well, he coughs and cannot sleep well. I sit and write my diary in bed. Emre often awakens; he also looks at me with his big blue eyes. He says “grandma, my nose is blocked, give me fıs fıs”. We clean his nose and help him to go asleep. He embraces me and sleeps. To sleep in a steep position calms him down.
They are the happiness and bliss of my life.
The next morning, Cem runs to me saying “taa, taa” and bringing me the car keys so that we drive out. Everything in my mind, all the worries fly away. Cross questioning is over...

4. Day of the Hospital – Sunday (13. September.2009)
I go the hospital with hope. With his umbrella in his hand, Aytaç is waiting for me at the door... He has given me the greatest effort and picked up my scattered parts. He didn’t leave my father alone at all. If my father had a son of his own, I wonder if he could be as lucky as this. To be the only child is a difficult thing. My friends are running around me; “I have no brothers or sisters but I am very lucky to have my friends” I say to myself.
My father is better today. I pray wishing that the operation becomes successful. “We have managed to get over the most difficult part and this will pass soon too” I say to myself.
I sit on the seats at the end of the corridor watching the pine trees in front of the glass window and while my father eats his lunch in the form of baby’s food (they give everything blended), I write these lines. There is a walking path and a very beautiful park under the trees. I watch the people walking and running for health.
Istanbul is under heavy rain with floods.
I go back to my father, pain killers make him sleep; once in a while he opens his eyes and looks at the news on the TV. “What is this?” he asks. We quietly watch in the TV the people dying in the floods due to great negligence, locations left to its fate, people crying out in agony.  Huge trailers dragged on the flood waters like match boxes, drivers lost their lives while sleeping. Same scenes are being showed over and over again. Reporters seem to be happy; it is as if they are enjoying the agony and disaster. It is easy with the Television; you just take the remote control, change the channel and watch
a more cheerful program.
Life is not the same.

5. Day of the Hospital – Monday (14. September.2009)
The nurse, Fatoş, who looked after my father the first night on the intensive care, stayed with him last night.  She looked after him with care; massaged him with bath oils, shaved him and combed his hair neatly.
He is in pain and grumbles but his eyes look fine. We start our 5th day in the hospital.
He doesn’t want to have lunch, he wants to get up. He wants to go home. When we are outside the room, he tells my mother “Why don’t we go home? Don’t hold me here anymore.”
His doctor comes, “Falling results big traumas in old people”. “His character may change; be prepared for everything and every word.” the doctor says. They give him stronger pain killers.  When he has a lot of pain, the medicine is given by clicking; he looks comfortable and sleeps. In the evening, they serve milk pudding with rice; I feed him by spoon. He takes back the rice pieces he can’t swallow with the tip of his tongue. I feel happy as he eats something with pleasure. He makes an attempt as if he will say something to my ear. I hear nothing. I bend to hear, he whispers, I bend more.
He kisses me on my cheek and caresses my hair.
I seem to joke with him but run outside and cry.
Something is going wrong. It’s as if he doesn’t want to get well.
His pains increase again, they switch to stronger pain killers.
Time goes on an inverse function and one doesn’t want to live in it. 
He wants to get rid of the serums on his arms. His breath rustles; they change his oxygen masque to get a higher oxygen level.  They give the medicine as spray; he gets better and falls asleep. 
Sarp arrives. I leave the room. He listens to Sarp. He gets angry with me because we are still there.
After me, Dr. Hakan visits him; his breathing is constrained, they explain his situation as ‘embolus’, he gets worse and is taken to the intensive care.

6. Day of the Hospital – Tuesday (15. September.2009)
Early in the morning, they take us to the intensive care to visit him. He is not well at all. He has left himself. In the evening, he wanted to take the serums out and they fastened his arms to bed.
My heart aches to see him like this. He is aware of everything, looks at me with panic eyes, trying to tell me something. He has oxygen masque on his face, he cannot talk.
I put my finger into the palm of his hand. He has made a very tight fist and he squeezes my finger.
He pokes me; struggles when the doctor approaches; he is trying to get away from there, tears go down from my eyes but I try to hide them from him. The lady doctor is asking weird questions. As if my father is not there.  My head is throbbed with pain.
My father squeezes my hand saying “help”. His body is shaken. I ask the doctor why they don’t increase the pain killers. “His blood pressure has gone down a lot”.  Bla, bla... They are trying to explain some things to us. Alp and Sarp ask questions separately. They say he has pneumonia. “We have started intense antibiotic treatment but the microbe scattered to the whole body”, they say. Everything goes wrong.
They diagnose embolus but their attitude is not precise. We are stunned. The doctor responsible for the intensive care calls us, trying to explain some things. My only wish is that he doesn’t feel any more pain, agony and position and sleep deeply. I request this from the doctor.
I am glad he didn’t have the operation and we shared some things in that room for 3 days, I think to myself. 
I cry out of helplessness. 
He caressed my hair; I kissed him; we looked into each other’s eyes. We couldn’t speak but we got along. 
Alp, Sarp, and Aytaç joined hands.  
He said “get me out of here; I won’t be your father anymore”. 
My God, what can I do? 
We couldn’t stay anymore in the hospital; we went home with my mother.  She is also in misery.

7. Day of the Hospital – Wednesday (16. September.2009)
Last night was Laylat al-Qadr. Alp called at night and asked if we called the hospital or not. We couldn’t talk to anyone. They said the doctors were busy, there was an emergency case.
We got on the car and went to the hospital. We looked at him, his situation got really grave; he breathed with difficulty. He had oxygen masque on his face, I couldn’t go near him. I couldn’t touch him. I knew that he was no longer there. He was trying to do what I couldn’t do. 
When I arrived home, I took a shower and prayed with the flowing water.
I prayed "Get him well or don’t let him have more pain. My God, You are so great”
At 7.30, I woke up all of a sudden. It was as if he was beside me. I jumped out or bed; I couldn’t sleep anymore.
His doctor called at 9.30; "His respiration is very low, please come to the hospital at once to sign some papers as I will put on tubes”. When we went to the hospital, we saw that they have put him under respiratory tract. “His urine output decreased” they said. "His kidneys are failing." I went near him. His eyes were shut. He was sleeping in peace. I knew that he was not there. It was the respiratory tract that was breathing. His heart stopped beating towards 11. 
My dear father’s path enlightened; I hope that his location will be heaven.

SELİMİYE MOSQUE (17.September.2009) Thursday
We are slowly gathering at Selimiye Mosque.
Two soldiers keep guard at my father’s coffin which is covered with Turkish flag.
I believe that he is watching us from somewhere.
The sun goes behind the clouds and comes back again.
My sons, Aytaç, our friends, my father’s friends from military..
Necdet Pasha counts the ones who couldn’t attend. Anyhow, very few of them have been left.
I hug Uncle Bahattin and cry.
His eyes have turned out red but he is still straightened up and his hand is shaken in my palm.
We share our sorrow quietly.
Men perform the namaz(salah).
Women are on the edges, we pray.
We all make amends.
On the shoulders of the soldiers, they place my dear father to the gun carriage.
The navy band is playing the funeral anthem.
We are walking after the gun carriage with slow steps.
My mind is empty.
The pain doesn’t hurt anymore.
People are standing quietly on the pavements with respect.
They are following the loss of a commander, a father, with sad eyes.
They are transferring him from the gun carriage to the funeral car.
They are putting him on the chaplets and the last journey begins.
With our flashes on, we drive towards the cemetery in a convoy in İstanbul’s peculiar roads and strange traffic. 
The soldiers do not leave their commander to anybody on the cemetery and carry him till his tomb with care down the steep roads of Kanlıca. 
Underneath our feet, there is the Bosphorus and the Bosphorus Bridge on the left and ship passing in silence.
The preacher prays on his tomb; we accompany in our hearts and his beloved ones put soil into his grave with care.
They keep the women in a distance.
I talk to my father silently.
I say farewell.
The smell of the wet soil fills my nose.
The soldiers take off the flag that wrapped his coffin.
They salute it as last time and go.
We return home, with my father placed in my soul and heart, leaving his body there.
We make his halva with prayers.
Our friends place the food that they have brought to the table with care.
Şefika cries, prays for my father, makes his halva. She has prepared the house for the visitors.
The hodja begins his prayer at 5 o’clock.
Our house is filled with our family members, friends.
The door is open. The neighbours coming quietly open their hands and participate in the prayers.
I know that tomorrow my father’s house will be left with its quiet walls together with the people who are left behind. My father will live in the soul and hearts of the people who remember and know him.
Your little daughter grew up today, my dear father.

Thanking all my friends who shared this journey with me....


[Thursday, 24 September 2009]   Başak

You have made me cry a lot, dear Tülin.. My deepest condolences once again.. Kiss you. 

[Saturday, 26 September 2009]   Tülay Ardan Taşcıoğlu

Dearest Tülin, I couldn’t attend my uncle’s funeral because I was outside İstanbul. After watching the video, I felt as if I was together with you there. He was a very good and lucky father, with a very good daughter, caring son- in-law, grand children and their children. He passed from eye to heart. I hope God sends him to heaven. I wish all of you patience. I love you very much. Your elder sister Tülay, Thu at 11:21pm. 

[Sunday, 27 September 2009]   Serap

My dear Tülin, I do not know how to convey my condolences. I cannot believe that we lost İsmail Amca... You made me cry with what you have written but I also felt as if I was together with you. Dearest, I do not know what to say. As you know, İsmail Amca was also a beloved uncle to me; he was a model man, an uncle to us all. He taught us how to be a father and a real man as from our childhood. We will miss him a lot and make him live forever in our hearts. I wish you and all your family patience. Let’s commemorate İsmail Amca’s life all together from now on. I kiss you all. 

[Monday, 28 September 2009]   Nazan Sinoplu

My dear Tülin, when I got the news, it was impossible to reach the funeral, it was almost one o’clock and I didn’t want to send a message or phone then; you have been in my mind and heart for many days. I am sorry for not being there. But after reading your dairy, I realized that I did something that I wasn’t able to do in the past. Thanks to you, I said farewell to my mother... You spent very difficult days. Dear Tülin, I couldn’t be with you as I didn’t know about it but believe me the only consolation is that you were able to say goodbye. For me it is a gift of God to hold his hand and looking into his eyes to be able to pray that he doesn’t suffer any more pain. You would understand how important it is not to be able to say goodbye; as in my case, I joked with my mother one night and didn’t find her there the following morning. But I am sure they are with us. We don’t see each other very much but you have a special place in my heart, I love you very much, my dear friend. I hope that we see each other soonest... It is my wish that you begin to write a book now. You write so well, thanks to your hand, mind and heart.

Nazan Sinoplu, 26 September 2009, 7:57 p.m. 

[Monday, 28 September 2009]   Ayşe Erler

Dear Tülin! My deepest condolences, I wish you patience. I know how valuble your father was to you. We have had a conversation about it recently. I can feel very well that it would be impossible to forget him.Your sorrow will not lessen but the price and concession of having had a wonderful father like yours would console you a little. May God rest his soul! September 17 at 11:52am 

[Monday, 28 September 2009]   Basak Pelister Sakir

I wish what I read was a book. After I finished crying, I could say this is book, not real. It was so lucky of him that he had a daughter, son in law and grandchildren and, he saw you happy, welfare and hands of all your family members locked with one another’s at his last breath. His only child understood him so well.  I hugged my father and mother once again a while ago. Sometimes I realize that we do not show our gratitude to them very often. Their only wish in life is to see our smiling faces and happiness in all ways. What else is so important? 

[Tuesday, 29 September 2009]   Evrim Karabal

It was a pleasure to spend time with İsmail Amca and listen to him. While we dealt with his discomforts; sometimes he made us laugh with the humourous stories he put in between, sometimes he got crossed with us, sometimes he got angry but it was all beautiful. I hope his place will be heaven... What is left behind is to miss him more.  I know you and İsmail Amca for almost 6 years and you are a very devoted daughter, Tülin Hanım. I hope I would be like you. What you wrote is the yearning in your heart and thereafter. I hope this won’t fade away. With my love.




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