My dad died last month.
There...the words are out on the screen. Can't be taken back. Can't be forgotten. They are here forever. Or as forever as the internet is.
My mom called the Monday after Thanksgiving and said that he wasn't doing well and that she thought it was time for me to come. Little G and I packed up our things and headed out the next day and drove for what seemed to be an endless time.
If you are ever wondering if it would be fun to take a road trip for 10+ hours with an almost 5 month old, my advice would be don't. do. it.
The entire ride my mind would wander to the fact that my dad was dying and I would start to tear up. And then I would admonish myself for being dramatic and literally yell, 'STOP Crying!", or "I will NOT cry...I will not cry...I will not cry" until the tears went away and I could see the road again.
When I got to Pennsylvania it was night, so I didn't go to see him until the next day, Wednesday. He was so lucid and 'normal' I didn't even think about what was going to possibly be happening soon. Little G and my mom and I spent time with him and then my mom took Little G so that I could talk to my dad alone.
I sat next to him and grasped his hands and cried, "Oh, dad".
And he put his large, heavy hand on my head and whispered, "It's ok...it's ok".
I looked up at him and found it impossible to find the right words to say. So I said, "I am finding it really hard to put into words how much I love you. But you know I love you."
Then I asked him, "Are you scared?"
"No", he breathed out.
"Do you need anything...or want anything? Is there anything we can do for you?"
So we sat together silently for a bit while I wiped the tears from my cheeks. And then I left.
Little G and I visited with him almost every day until he passed away on December 15, but that was the last time I spoke to my dad on my own.
Maybe it is because I am so far away from where he was and because I had only seen him once from the time he had his knee surgery (which kicked off this whole health scare)until this past visit, but I have had a difficult time wrapping my brain around it.
We returned to Boston last Thursday and as of yesterday life is 'back-to-normal' and I just feel weird. Like if I felt like it, I could convince myself it was all a dream.
But it wasn't.
My dad died. On Wednesday, December 15, 2009. Nine days prior to his 76th birthday. Four months after his knee surgery that was supposed to enhance his life. Five months after his second grandson, who looks a lot like him, was born. Twelve days before that grandson's baptism which had been his goal to attend.
Twenty days ago.