Friday, December 23, 2011

2 Years Ago Today...

December 23, 2009, my father passed away. It was one of those things you knew was getting closer and closer, and yet it still caught everyone off guard. He was 81.

He called me the night of Dec. 21, to tell me he had passed out and they were taking him to a local hospital. He asked if I'd drive my mother to the hospital to see him, and a couple of hours later, mom and I were by his side in the emergency room.

He seemed fine. He teased me about my ugliness chasing the cute nurses out of the room, and made my mother smile with his humor which led to something I don't ever remember seeing... a short, tender kiss between them. The next day was my sisters birthday, so then and there he called her on the phone to assure her he was fine, and give his best wishes for her special day.

He told us he felt well enough to go home, and was so sure he was on the mend, that he "ordered" us home because he felt there was no need for us to "waste our time" standing around. We turned and walked out of the room, and I looked back to see my smiling father waving goodbye.

A few hours later, we were called back to the hospital. He had passed out again, and this time it took 15 minutes of CPR to bring him back.

This time when we walked into the hospital it was a completely different experience. There was dad in the ICU with tubes and wires hooked to him...unconscious. The staff didn't hold out much hope.

During that time I did something that was long overdue. I whispered in his ear how much I loved him, told him how sorry I was for disappointing him so many times in my life, and thanked him for having the courage to adopt me.

Over the next several hours he "coded" two more times before enough was enough and he was gone.

So, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the anchor of our family was gone forever. The man I'd looked up to for over 40 years suddenly wasn't there to give an encouraging word or tell me everything would be ok.

My mother has done pretty well considering everything that she had to go thru in the aftermath of his death. She's a strong woman. My sister is as well, and is able to stand strong knowing that dad would want her to.

I'm not as strong of a person and still struggle with his absence, but I am confident in the fact that I will see him again one day, and that keeps me going.

He was a husband, a father, a friend, a soldier, and a prankster and I will love and miss him forever.

It's crazy how a wonderful holiday like Christmas can bring such sadness, and it's tripled with the loss of someone dear. So my prayers go out to all of you who might be going thru something similar with a loved one.

Time marches on, and sometimes that really sucks, but we must continue to move live... and by doing so, we honor the memory of the lost.


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