My phone rang a little before 4 am Friday morning, December 30, 2011. The voice on the other end said “Terri it’s Mom…I think your Dad is dead”. I can’t remember exactly what I said except for “I will be right there”. I only live 8 miles from my parents house. My brother was temporarily living with me so I woke him and told him what Mom had said. He stated “call 911”. I was half way out the door and told him to do that cuz I needed to go to Dad. I have no idea what I was thinking because I was hoping she was wrong. I flew through the little town I live outside of at 70 mph. (speed limit is 25 mph). I got to my parents house and the paramedics were already there and I saw my Dad lying on the floor. It has been two and a half months since then and that image is burned into my brain forever, I think. Just before they took my Dad out of the house, I knelt next to him and said “Dad, I want to go with you”.
My Dad had lung cancer 6 years ago and had part of one lung removed. For many years he used oxygen therapy when he slept at night. For the past year or so, he used oxygen almost 24/7.(except when out in public)… I think that was his pride. He never complained and always told us that he was feeling fine, whenever family or friends asked.
Five days after we buried my Dad, I was at the hospital emergency room with Mom. We thought she might have had pneumonia. She had all the right signs and symptoms. The chest x-ray told us differently. She had an aortic Aneurysm that was bleeding into her chest. Within a couple of hours she was being air-lifted (by helicopter) to a hospital almost 2 hours away from home. When the helicopter got in the air I went home to get cleaned up and a quick bite to eat. I had worked all day and hadn’t been home yet…left work early to take Mom to the ER. I remember getting out of the shower and thinking to myself…Wow, God must really be pissed off at me. I can’t believe this is happening. Thank goodness Mom came through the surgery and returned home after only 5 days in the hospital.
I guess it is just now sinking in that my Dad is really gone. I worship the ground he walked on and miss him terribly. For reasons I don’t understand, I am feeling anger towards my Mom and my brother. They never talk about my Dad and that is all I want to talk about. I feel like I am slowly going crazy. I haven’t had that one good cry yet, but I can feel it. It is stuck in my throat and I continue to keep swallowing hard. I have had people tell me that I have “held up great” since my Dad died, because they know how close he and I were. I was Daddy’s girl. I feel so lonely and empty right now. I am grateful that my Dad no longer suffers and struggles to breathe, but I wonder when this emptiness will ever ease.