I worked at 12-hour shift yesterday and on my way home last night it occurred to me to go see my dad but I was scheduled to work another 12 today and needed to get home to get some rest. After Sunday's 12-hour shift I planned to go and sit with my dad.
When I got into bed, around 10:30 p.m. last night, I called the nursing home as usual to check on him and my favorite nurse picked up the phone. He said he was just getting ready to call me. I asked, "How is he tonight?" and the nurse said, "I'm so sorry. He passed away about 30 minutes ago."
I spoke with hospice and the crematorium and got a few things worked out. Made a couple of calls.
But I can't feel it. There's a pain in my heart but it's far away and when it starts to come to the surface I somehow push it back down.
My dad was the finest man I've ever known. He was kind and gentle, loving, sweet, funny, intelligent....Anyone who's ever met him loved him. My mom once told me that it sometimes bugged her that dad was so well loved because if she went somewhere without him people were always asking her where he was. He made friends wherever he went. The grocery store, the pharmacy, the library, his various Dr.'s offices. I cared for him for 5 years and I would take him to his Dr.'s appointments and he'd charm anyone we came in contact with and I would often be asked, "Is this your dad?" and I'd tip them a wink and say,"No, he's my husband" then whisper, "he has a lot of money." My dad loved that. It was like our little schtick.
He was a veteran of the Korean War, he was a military policeman, he worked for McDonnell Douglas, retiring in 1990 and went on to be a college professor in his retirement.
When my mom died 6 years ago she and my dad had been married 40 years. My dad was the ultimate family man and everything he did was for his family. He enjoyed thinking of himself as a cross between Bill Cosby and Clark Griswold. The night of my first date he teased me relentlessly and when my mom finally made him stop he did. He disappeared for a few minutes and when he returned he was wearing his boxer shorts, no shirt, a tie and a jacket and he proclaimed that he was ready to meet my date.
When the numbness wears off this is really going to hurt.