It’s been exactly 3 weeks since my dad passed. January 7, 2016 at 6:20 PM my dad died from Small Cell Lung Cancer that had ultimately metastasized to all of his organs, including his brain.
He was 66 years old.
When I was younger, I thought 66 was old, but watching him struggle in that hospital bed and seeing him there after he died, I realized, even more, how much life he had left to live.
He was too young for that.
Some people said, well at least he lived a long happy life. He got married, had children, made friends… he enjoyed life thoroughly. And he did.
But he was still too young. He could’ve lived another 20 years! He could’ve been here long enough to watch my girls get married.
Since he has died, I keep watching older couples. I try to guess their ages and how long they have been married.
I’m mad that he doesn’t get to grow old with my mom. I’m mad that my kids lost their amazing grandpa.
It makes me mad to see evil people living and walking this Earth without a care in the world. Why him?
Why did it have to happen to him? He’s such a good guy. There are so many things he left unfinished. We weren’t ready for him to leave us.
That last day, January 7th, I was going to see him. I expected to carry on a conversation with him. In fact, we had planned to have Christmas that day at my parents house. With him in and out of the hospital, we hadn’t been able to have a big family dinner yet.
I did not expect him to die that day. He had just been moved to the hospice center that morning.
It wasn’t until I arrived that afternoon that I realized he was so far gone and already incoherent. When we got there, the girls were laughing at the sound he was making. They thought he was snoring, but he was actually just trying to breathe. Once they realized that, Natalie, my oldest, said “Your dad is going to die… today.” And she was right.
He never spoke a word to me that last day, but I know he knew I was there. He didn’t move much at all, he was curled on his side and constantly trying to rip off his clothing and oxygen. When he tried to move, I leaned over his bed and said “What do you need? Tell me what you want.,” trying to make him comfortable. He sat up, completely raising his back off the bed, opened his eyes wide-open and looked straight at me. Then he immediately fell back onto the bed. He never did say anything to me, but now I know that was him telling me good-bye.
I’m thankful that he got to meet my children. I’m thankful that he was such a good strong example for my husband. I’m thankful that he got to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. I’m thankful that he had such amazing friends that were there with him when he died and helped at the funeral.
I’m thankful that my mom got to spend 38 terrific years with him. And I’m thankful that I was able to witness what love and commitment in a marriage should look like. He will always be missed.
My little girls are 4 (almost 5) and 6 years old. I really hope they will remember the man he was. They were always so close to him. They understand that we have buried him and he has gone to a better place, but we’re still trying to explain why Heaven doesn’t have a cell phone.