Two year’s ago today was Memorial Day – the day my Dad passed. My health is following in my Dad’s footsteps, which is the reason for me working hard to get fit & healthy. I remember being up for the holiday weekend to see him in the hospital. At that time he had been in & out of the hospital, nursing home/rehab facility a lot the past few months. That weekend I knew it was the last. He went from being on a respirator on Mother’s Day (despite his DNR & living will), to a week later our visit with him in the ICU joking as we compared swollen feet (I was PG at the time), to Memorial Day weekend when he was tucked back in the vacant wing of the hospital looking jaundice and not eating. The doctor wanted to send him back to the rehab center – I asked if she had been to see him because he was obviously having some kidney failure at this time. I remember a heart doctor coming in saying he wasn’t a candidate for a transplant because his health was so bad. I remember him going for a sonogram & we joked (tried to) asking him what he was having – a boy or a girl? (I was having my 20wk sono the next day.) I remember saying – “Hey Dad, do you know what today is?…It’s Memorial Day”….his eyes lit up & I thought – Sh!t, why did I tell him. (My family has a history of dying on holidays…My Mom the day before Valentines Day, My Dad on Memorial Day, My Brother got word on July 4th, My Grammie on Veteran’s Day). We stayed as long as we could that day and then made the trip back home. We never made it home though. We stopped at my Sister-in-Law’s house for a birthday party for our Nephew. While we were there I got a call that he wasn’t doing well. I knew in my gut this was it even though everyone said they’re just calling to update us. We didn’t even get around the corner from her house & the hospital called to say he passed. I wanted to see him, so instead of heading home we made the 3 hour drive back up to the hospital. I felt like I knew these drives all to well, but thankfully this time I had Rich by my side. I made calls to family on the drive up to occupy my mind. Once we made it up there I could feel my stomach sinking. I walked into his room to see Natie’s sono picture up (this was up in all his rooms – he was a proud Grandpa even then.) I looked over and saw my Dad, the last of my immediate family laying there in peace. It amazed me that 4 hours after his passing he was still warm, but within moments his body felt cold as ice. I like to think that his spirit stayed with him until I got there, then once he knew I made it safe, it was time to go. My Dad lives on in my Son – there is an uncanny resemblance in not only looks but personality. It’s both eerie & heartwarming at the same time.
So I raise my glass to my Dad – we may not have always gotten along or seen eye to eye, but you were my Daddy & I miss you all the same.