Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Somber Like It's 1999!

The call came around 11:10 PM on a Thursday night, December 16, 1999. My Mom informed me that my Dad had died just a few minutes earlier as she attempted to help him to bed. Oh, I knew he was dying, I just didn't think it would happen this fast. He had gone through his first day with hospice people and was becoming too much to handle for my Mom. I think he just decided I'm done. What was I to do? I told Sheryl ,who began weeping, and then I went over to the house to say goodbye. All the way over I kicked myself because I had not gone to see him that Thursday night. When I arrived I hugged Mom and said I was sorry I hadn't come over. Then I went to his room and he lay sideways across the bed, eyes partially open, looking so tired. So tired. Any fear of death I had left me that night. My Dad looked so worn out from fighting that I knew wherever he was, even if he was nowhere, was better than where he'd been the last few months. Then the mortuary guys showed up to take him away to the Nebraska Medical Center where medical students would use him for research and training to help better mankind. That's how I remember my father, selfless even after he was gone. I wish I could be half the man he was. Dad, I miss you, I love you, and I hope you're finishing the back nine somewhere. You deserve it.

4 comments:

Sheryl said...

Oh honey I remember that day back in 1999 too. Your Dad was a wonderful man and I loved him too. I think he would be so proud of you right now with the man you have turned out to be. Keep up the good work.

Just Kevin... said...

I remember that day well. A few days later, I was back in the house we grew up in. It was the night before his funeral, I was about to fall asleep when my partner turned over and asked, "Where did your dad die?". I could just hear Dad snickering as I turned over and said, "Right about where you are...".

Project Christopher said...

This is the first picture I've seen of your Dad, he was a handsome man. I've heard Kevin talk about him a lot. With my Mom, I remember how it struck me that she'd fought cancer for 2 years with chemo and radiation treatments and never complained a single time, but the morning that the doctor said the word "terminal" was the end and she passed the next day... but not until all 3 of her kids were in the hospital with her.

And if your Dad was anything of a jokester, no matter who the victim, I mean target, I bet he DID snicker about Kevin telling his partner :)

Burr Deming said...

Your sad and wonderful post brought back memories of the death of my own folks, a little over a year apart. It is a reaction I imagine many of your readers share.