Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dear Dad:

Dad. You left this world Tuesday morning, January 18th, just minutes after Billy left and told you it was okay to go to Mom. It was around 9:30am. One month to the day since Mom passed away. Just a few hours before, I stopped in the hospice in the middle of the night. You were so thin and so frail. It was really hard to witness. But you were still breathing. You seemed comfortable. You looked like you did every other time you were sleeping. You were covered in blankets we brought from the house. The one that stood out to me was the Pottery Barn kids blanket that lay on top. It was one of Chandler's blankets from when he was little. Bill and Dawn let us borrow it last time the kids were here for either Evan or Eliana. The day we brought you to the hospice, the nurses got you comfortable in the bed and tucked you in and the blanket with all the little rocketships sat on top. In some ways, you seemed like a little kid that day. You weren't speaking but you looked at us for guidance as the priest folded your hands in prayer and we prayed together. I felt so bad. I just wanted to hug you and tell you it was going to be okay. Paul and I were right beside you as the priest read you your last rites. I wouldn't have had it any other way. As hard as it was, I'm so glad we were there.

I've been having trouble processing losing the both of you in such a short time. After losing Mom, I was upset with myself because I never cried like I felt like I should. Saturday night, or more like Sunday morning just a few days before you passed, I stopped in the hospice in the middle of the night around 3 in the morning to see you. The staff at the hospice were so friendly. They let me in right away and left me alone in the room with you. I told you how much I loved you and how much you meant to me, and most of all, thanked you for everything you did for me. I knelt down beside the bed and cried my heart out. I have never cried so hard in my 42 years. Never. It was as if the dam broke. My chest was tight from crying to the point where it hurt. I was crying as if the little boy inside me was crying out to his Daddy not to leave. It was as if everything was coming out at once. Losing Mom, losing you, 9/11, barely surviving addiction, the divorce, no longer being able to have a conventional family with my wife and kids. Most of all, what hurt the most was was kneeling beside you at the bed, your son, not wanting to say goodbye. I cried so hard and so loud that the nurse came running in and check to see if you were still breathing. She thought maybe you had already gone. I squeezed your hand one last time, put my hand on your head and said, " I love you Dad. You can go and see Mom now." 

Dad, I don't know what happens on the other side, but I hope you are with Mom again, and all of your family. One of the last things you said to me was, "Just make sure you take care of those kids." Dad, you know I will. I'm going to miss you. We are all going to miss you. With you watching over us, I'll always think of the Liverpool FC song, "You'll Never Walk Alone." Bye for now.  

No comments: