I remember that last week and everything of that week so clearly it is spooky. I remember my mom having to make the decision to move him into the hospice 5 days before he died. I remember him being transported out of his house and thinking that I can't imagine having to make that decision and wishing for my mom that we could do something anything else because I saw it killing her. In hindsight, I know it was probably for the best but I know my mom doesn't think that way and for that I wish we could have found away.
I remember staying over in the hospice on Friday the 6th of February in his old lazyboy chair - probably the worst sleep of my life. But I knew, I knew if I was there he wouldn't die. I knew it. I remember wanting with everything I had to stay over on his birthday the 7th, but knowing when I looked at him, that I had to say goodbye. I had to tell the greatest man I have ever known that I loved him so much, and it would be so hard to say goodbye but I had too. I had to tell him that me and the girls would be ok, and I'd do my damndest to help mom however I could. I can remember with complete clarity kissing him on the forehead and telling him I loved him so much .. and that I would see him again in 60 years. I remember the look of my mom, my brother and my grandparents looking at me like I was nuts. But what they didn't know was that I had went through the same thing with my father in law 4 years previous. I remembered the "death look" because man pre-death has a look. I wanted to be wrong, but knowing that my dad's life was going to end that night I needed to say goodbye. I left the hospice and went shopping. The clerk asked me what I was looking for and I remember the look of shock when I said it was either shopping or getting drunk because my dad was going to die tonight of cancer and I figured shopping was as therapeutic as the next thing. It killed me to leave the hospice that night. Killed me. But I had to.. so I went shopping. I couldn't face my kids. I couldn't face them. I couldn't tell them.
At around 4:20am the lights flashed in my house, the radio came on, and the tv in my room .. I had my legs in my pants before my momma even called. I drove to the hospice in about 10 minutes. It should have taken me at least 20.. But I needed to get to my mom. I remember running through the parking lot of the hospice and pressing the buzzer to get up and saying "my dad just died I need to see my mom" I couldn't do anything for dad now but by god I could hold my mom. That elevator ride felt like an eternity. I saw the front desk and they just had this look, they've mastered that look, the look of I'm so sorry for your loss. I went to my dad's room on the third floor and saw him look so peaceful, probably the most peaceful I saw him in a year. I sat down beside him and cried. And looking at his chest thinking just breathe dammit. Breathe. And the mind plays tricks on you when you see your father dead. You can swear his chest moved up and down. I remember my mom trying, and from what she told me she tried for the 15 minutes before I was called to put his eyelids down. That is a freaky thing. The eyes shoot upwards and the jaw slacks downward. I laugh now, but that dream haunted me for a good 6 months.
My dad, my children's grandfather died on Feb 8th, but he had the last laugh. He made his 62nd birthday.
Dad, we miss you so much!