The father story

The saddest words in history, written, recorded, or spoken came on December 28th at 2:45 pm 2015.

“Is he gone?” My mother’s voice shook, asking an attending nurse who looked at her and nodded his head. I grabbed her hand and she mine, as if we both knew the other needed it and cried. I kissed his forehead, and held his hand one last time while it was warm.

My father that day, had succumb to a stroke. The bleeding so severe that it would have been impossible to evacuate the blood, and in an area that controlled most of the bodies functions.

He is survived by myself, my brother and his loving wife of 38 years.

If I could change anything about this, it would have been that it was me laying on that bed, in that moment. Selfish as that may seem, nothing in my dad’s life, nothing he did, amounted to him deserving that.

And yet, just like a candle being blown out so was his life.

And for months now, all I’ve felt is guilt, anger, grief. It’s hard to express it all without toppling over each other, it’s hard not to just punch a wall until I break my hand because I don’t understand HOW, my FATHER, DIED.

He wasn’t always the healthiest man, but it was by some weird series of circumstances that he seemed to be deteriorating over the past 5 years. First an autoimmune disease that had struck, seemingly wasting him down to nearly nothing. A man who had fought with his weight most his adult life now weighed 170 pounds at 6' tall, after weighing 250 pounds.

He fought that, he got his mobility back because you see, it left him unable to talk, walk, or do anything on his own for a year. After PT he was able to use a walker, and eventually a cane.

All my father wanted to do was golf, he wanted to teach people. He knew 1000 ways to improve a golf swing, and yeah sometimes he’d forget my age. But he wasn’t a vicious man, he wasn’t a horrible person.

I’m not going to postulate on how I feel, on how this is somehow going to make me stronger because it hasn’t. If anything it makes me question everything I know, it makes me not want to leave my bed in the day. It robs me of my appetite and will to do anything, and all the while my father is ashes. Buried after a harsh winter in Harrisburg.

It sounds dramatic but I, no I don’t care how it sounds. I loved my father more than anything. I listened to his stories, over and over again. He understood me when I didn’t, he took the time to try and find a common ground with me. He let me play my music loud in his car and he tried to play it cool.

And now he’s gone.

He won’t see me walk down the isle, or my brother for that matter.

He won’t grow old (he would have been 70, by far not old) and celebrate a golden anniversary with my mother. He won’t get grey, he won’t retire with my mother.

Because my father is now buried, and there was nothing I could do.