February 23, 2012

Remembering Him

My father's birthday was yesterday.  He would have been 80 years old.  He died 5 years ago, 3 days before Christmas.  When I look back it seems like his last days with me are like they happened yesterday.  He died on a Friday.  I had gone over to my  parents house on that Wednesday afternoon.  My daughter had gone there after school so I was picking her up.  When I knocked at the door he opened it for me.  I noticed that his color was all wrong.  He was all grey.  Instantly it came to me that he was going to die very soon.  He had a pace maker put in about a year of so before he died so he was on borrowed time.  I had worked in a nursing home some years before, so I had seen that coloring before.  He was all grey.  I went about the normal things when I was there but that was the very last time I saw him alive.

I got a call at work about 11 or so from my mother's house.  I was on the phone with a work customer so that call went to vm.  I got the message about 5 minutes later and it was my daughter telling me to come to mom;s house because her papa had collapsed.  I broke into tears at my desk and left immediately.

The drive to my mothers house only took 15 minutes but it seemed like I was in quick sand.  Time was moving very slowly and I was aware of every moment and everything in those 15 minutes.  The day was cold and grey as it was December 22nd.  The traffic was not bad but when I got to the main intersection I saw a flock of blackbirds flying overhead and I knew his soul was being taken up to heaven.  I was too late.  I would not make it.

I drove on and finally turned into the neighborhood.  I was at a t intersection and I saw an ambulance pass right in front of the car, no lights no sirens.  Working at a nursing home, I knew what that meant too.  He was already gone.  I drove on and went to my parents house and my daughter and nephew were at home. Mom was in the ambulance with my father.  I picked up the kids and we went straight to the hospital.  We were all ushered into a side family room and we waited for about 40 minutes.

Finally a nice woman came in and said that my father did not make it.  They had been working on him all that time to try to bring him back.  They finally got him cleaned up so that we could see him.  I touched his face.  He was still warm. Moist even.  I touched his hair.  So white and soft. Soft as a babies hair.  I just caressed his head and hair and cried.  We were all finally ushered back to that family side room to meet with a pastor.

I remember those last moments like it was yesterday.  Funny how those last moments will be with me forever.


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