Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gone, but never forgotten

Long time since my last post.

The last month has been full of emotion and it has been a month of immense change.  My Dad had a heart attack on June 4th, they fixed him up and he came home on June 11th, they were very optimistic, told him he was only 87 years old on paper, not physically.   Told him he had a lot of years ahead of him.  We were very happy.  He looked good, still had his tan, came home with 9 new medications, but he was doing well.   He spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday tired, napping, puttering around a bit in his garden, frustrated because he didn't do much, couldn't do much, I told him I'd come and weed for him. He even got a few games of cribbage in with my sister Danielle, his favorite game.   I spent the weekend getting my own house and yard in order, being at the hospital so much, we hadn't had time for it.  We thought we had time to take a break from heart attacks and hospitals, thought we could afford one weekend away from Dad to catch up. 

Monday morning, June 14th, Kennedy isn't feeling well.  Not sure if she had heat stroke, flu, or just needed a day.  Pretty sure she was meant to be at my parents that day.  I called Mom and Dad that Monday morning and asked if they were up for a day with Kennedy, a quiet day of her resting and recovering from whatever was going on.  They both said yes, they would love to have her.  We got there at about 8:45am, Dad was sitting in his new chair that Mom had bought him when he was in the hospital.  She didn't want him to be walking up and down the stairs so much to sit in his chair, she was going to go and get him a new flatscreen for upstairs too, but we hadn't gotten to Costco just yet.  Kennedy and I plopped down in front of Dad, me on the floor, her on the stool.  He had on his burgundy pajamas, a blanket around his legs and the heating pad on his lap.  He told me he was chilly, all the time it seemed.  I said it was probably because of the blood thinners.  Mom came around the corner, cup of coffee in her hand, in her housecoat, smile on her face, welcoming us and I could feel the peace they both felt, the peace in the air, having Dad back at home, he looked great, he was smiling... but chilly :).  I sat and talked for longer than my start time at work allowed, I was late getting in, but I was enjoying the morning and our visit so much, and I knew I would be forgiven.  I kissed my Mom goodbye and told her I loved her.  I kissed my Dad goodbye and told him I loved him, he kissed my cheek and held me tight and told me he loved me too, and as always, told me not to work too hard.  I gathered up my daughter in my arms, told her to rest, gave her a kiss and was out the door.  I got to work at about 9:30.

10:30, I am in a meeting in my office, informal but important.  My phone rings, it is not a direct call so I let it go through thinking that they will leave a message and I can call them back when I am done.  Two minutes later Melissa calls through again, I pick it up and it is Kennedy.  She is crying, she is telling me I have to come.  Grandpa has had another heart attack.

I can't find my keys.  Where are my keys.  I run to Mandy's office and she grabs hers and we are gone.  We race to Mom and Dad's house.  The ambulance is there.  Everyone is in front of the house.  Kennedy runs to me, I cling to her.  My Mom is there, I go to her.  She is going to drive with the EMT, not go in the ambulance.  She tells me that she is sure Dad is already dead.  The EMT tells me they will do everything they can.  I let my Mom go with her.  I tell her I am right behind them.  Alice stays with Kennedy, my Kennedy who watched her Grandpa have a heart attack, ran to get Alice while my Mom stayed with Dad, after she talked to him for almost an hour after I left, telling him everything that was going on in her life.  Grandpa listening with a smile on his face, Grandma listening with a smile on hers.  She is being strong, her breakdown comes later.

Mandy drives, I don't even remember getting there.  I call Leigh first, I don't have to say anything but "come".  I call my siblings and tell them to come.  They are crying, asking me questions, I just tell them to come. 

My Dad passed away on June 14th, 2010. 

They assure us he was in no pain.  It was quick... we know he died at home.  A good place to die, the place where you lived your life with a loving wife of 55 years, children that thought you were Superman, turning to you for your quiet advice, always wanting to be around you... grandchildren that adored you.  My Dad was the kind of person I strive to be... happy, happy in life, happy with all that life gave to him.  He truly did bring out the best in others, and gave the best of himself.  He had a wonderful 87 years, and he would have been the first one to tell you that  As we mourn for him, I can hear him saying, don't cry for me, I had everything in life that I ever wanted.  Remember me, but don't cry for me.  I try not to cry for you Dad, it is very hard, but I pull a memory out, a memory of you, and that helps. 

We will take care of Mom, she misses you very much.  We all miss you very much.  Thank you for being the person you were Dad, they don't make 'em like you anymore.


1 comment:

  1. This is such a sweet write-up about your dad.. Brought tears to my eyes! He is so lucky to have such a loving family :)