I know there might be one or two folks who don't participate in all the "social networking" I do. So in case you haven't heard, my dad passed away yesterday morning. He never made it to Francis House. I think he wanted someone else to have that bed.
We've started making arrangements. Sometimes, when I'm sitting and discussing the "business" of his death (funeral arrangements, insurance policy, payments, etc) I feel like I've sort of stepped outside my body. Like, I'm there...but am I really talking about my Dad? Weird. But I am happy to help and take the lead on some things. Glad my brothers and sisters trust me and know that I have Dad's interests at heart, and I would never make a big decision without their input.
My grandma (Dad's mom) really has a great outlook on this. Maybe because she's been through it before...this will be the 4th child to precede her in death. I talked to her yesterday on the phone, and she said, "as long as I know he was at peace, and he knew we all loved him, then I'm ok. I'm not going to hoot and holler and scream; God gave him to me, and he saw fit to take him now."
And even my Dad...days before, he told my brother J, "well son...we all gotta go some day."
I didn't get that "strong in the face of death" gene. I cried my eyes out. Off and on all day yesterday. I would be doing good, and then one of my aunts would call. Or, I was at his apartment trying to pick out a suit, and I just burst into tears, standing at the foot of his bed. He's never coming back to this space.
Thursday evening, LDR and I had a "date night." He came and picked me up from work. But first, we went to the hospital. I got there and they had a suction machine set up, because Dad was coughing more, and they needed to clear his mouth. He could still talk, though. So I called both my sisters and my mom, and he was able to talk to them. I'm so happy I did that. What if I had waited and said, "they can talk to him after we get him transferred to Francis House?"
Maybe Dad felt like it was ok to go. He had talked to his daughters...he talked to my mom. My brothers and I have been up sitting with him all week. He saw my Aunt Betty last weekend. I hope he left knowing that we all loved him and he was a great father. He taught us a lot, even when he wasn't trying to.
I had been chatting with Serenity and she suggested that I make sure to say whatever I wanted my Dad to know before he left this earth. I totally agreed with that. Before I left on Thursday night, I gave him a kiss on the forehead and I said, "I love you, Dad. I couldn't have asked for or been blessed with a better father." He said, "I love you, too" - and then he mustered up the energy to lean up and give me a kiss on the cheek.
I walked to the chair to get my purse and my coat, and I turned around and said, "we're all gonna see you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., ok?" He nodded and I walked out of the room. And that was the last time I saw my dad alive.
I'm not going to sit here and act like everything was perfect and our entire father-daughter time on this earth was perfection. It wasn't. Whose is? That was my daddy and I loved him, and he loved me. That "dash" in the middle of his sunrise and sunset is filled with a lot of memories.
7/6/1940 - 11/12/2010