When the phone rings at 7AM on a Saturday morning you know it is not good news. 2 years ago- It was my younger brother saying that my Dad (age 59) had a heart attack. What he didn’t say on the phone was that he had tried to perform CPR and that the EMT folks could not revive Dad. I got dressed quickly and grabbed a water bottle. I figured we would be at the hospital for a while, in my mind I thought heart attacks are common, I was worried but hopeful. My older sister and I headed to the hospital.
When we walked in we were directed to private family room. UMMMMMM, I knew exactly what that meant. “Why are they taking us in here?” From the look my Mom and Brother’s faces I knew…. I didn’t want it to be real. My Dad had passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition that was worsened by Pneumonia. The minutes, hours, days, weeks that followed were a blurry maze of tears, confusion, anger, questioning, denial, pain, weakness… there were so many things to take care of and all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and pretend like it wasn’t real. I remember how strong my Mom was, she had lost a man she was married to for over 35 years just when they were going to start living in Retirement together and she was holding it together better than I was.
I did what I could to be strong and put on a brave face. Then would go home and cry in the arms of my husband. MM was hurting to, my Dad was his closest friend, he immediately felt the void and still does at family functions.
Now 2 years later the pain is still real, I am tearing up as I type this post. I think about Dad every day, all positive things. I was blessed to have a Father who left a legacy of kindness, and love. My hope is that I can pass on a smile, the smile that I got from him. I feel his presence often when I run, the most vivid experience was at the Boston Marathon when my body gave out at mile 4, he helped me through, post HERE.
I wish so much that my Mom had her husband. I wish my sister, brother and I had our Dad. That my husband had his friend. I wish that our Boys could have their Grandpa.. It does not matter how hard I wish/hope/want for this. The reality is that he has been gone for 2 years and we are all left with wonderful memories and the pain of missing him more than words can express..
I am not sure what the protocol is for the Anniversary of the death of someone? Do I visit the grave? Do I spend all day in bed? Do I go out and celebrate his life? I am not sure, all I know is that I miss my Dad and 10/16 will always hold a special/haunting place in my heart.