It has been a little over a month since my dad passed away. Yes. He died. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He received chemotherapy. He had the cancer surgically removed. He was cured. He died. It went so fast. He died June 16, 2015 in the early morning hours. My heart is broken. As many issues as my dad and I had…I loved him. He was and will always be my daddy.
I received the call from my brother just before 7:30am eastern standard time. I was just finishing up making my sons lunch for the day. I thought it was odd he was calling that early, but it happens on rare occasions. I answered, “what’s up?” I had a feeling something was up. I just didn’t think it was my dad. “Dad died this morning.”
“What? What did you say? No.”
“Dad died this morning. He got up because he had to go to the bathroom, except he couldn’t walk or get out of bed or anything.”
“What? No. No. No.”
That was the conversation before all I could do was cry. We discussed the remaining details later that day. Him and his family were having a nice family vacation in Florida. They rushed back so I would have family around. The rest of the day was a blur.
Since I bought a home and moved in just three days prior, I decided I would try to get some things done. I had some plumbing issues so I decided to head to Lowe’s to get what I needed. I picked up a few things; some paint, pvc pipes and elbows and then I went in search of a spigot. I stood in front of all the damn spigots searching for the right one. They did not have it in stock but that didn’t stop me from being in denial that they didn’t have it and continue searching. Lowe’s employees would walk by me, asked if I needed help and I responded. It wasn’t the response you would think. I did tell them I needed help but they couldn’t hear me because I was just standing there, looking at the spigots and crying. Finally, I nice man that didn’t work there, but was a vendor came to my rescue. He looked for the one I needed and could not find it either.
My good friends had been texting and sending me messages all day. I stood in Lowe’s reading them as I shopped for my things. I just shopped and cried. I went home, sat on my patio and thought about how my dad would have loved my patio and the house I bought. He was so proud that I bought a house.
June 16th was a Tuesday. He had gotten out of the hospital on the Thursday before that after his successful surgery. He was in a good amount of pain, but he said he was getting better by the moment. The last time I had talked to him was Friday. I was a little distracted because I was finishing up packing because we were moving the next day. I gave him my undivided attention anyways. I am so glad that I did. I am so glad I did not rush the conversation. I am so glad that I stopped and took a break when he called.
My brother was at his side when my dad went in for surgery. My Uncle was there too. His wife was there sometimes. She made sure that everyone knew that she has a concert to be at the day he got out of the hospital so he was on his own. After that, my brother and I knew he was going to be on his own. I asked him if he wanted to come live with me, but he declined. I am glad I asked, at least. He knew I wanted him there and loved him, even if we had our stupid little issues. Which folks, everything seems like a stupid little issue now. All of the time that was wasted because he was mad at me or I was mad at him. We were too much alike and our tempers usually flared at each other. We hurt one another’s feelings but never spoke to one another about it. It was what it was and it is what it is. I am glad that we made our peace during the visit to Iowa…even if it was a tumultuous visit.
My brother and his family arrived back at home and we went straight to their house with beer. We toasted my dad…I cried some more, still in disbelief. It was a heartbreaking day. The crying has not stopped, although it is less. It is not every hour, day…but once in a while it hits me.