[NOTE: This post is of a personal nature and has nothing to do with Kpop whatsoever. Please feel free to scroll right on by...]
Thirteen years feels both like a lifetime and a moment…
I spent most of my day today being busy. My sister, BiL, nephew and I joined my mom at church. (Me in church and lighting didn’t strike!!! Miracles do happen.) After church, we all went for breakfast and then went back to my sis’ place for a while. When I drove my mom home, I went in for a bit and played tech guru with her iPhone and iTunes, and then we watched Princess Diaries on TV (silly show, but I get sucked in every time). But now, I’m home and the sadness I was ignoring all day has hit me like a tonne of bricks.
It was around this time of the evening on March 3, 2000 that my dad passed away. (Note: I started writing this shortly after 10pm.) He had been in the hospital all day, after we rushed him there in the morning when he had taken yet another turn for the worse. Just two days before, he was okay. I mean, not healthy by any means, he was in pain and weak and sleeping a lot, but he was alert and speaking with everyone. Then on March 2, he took a turn for the worse, and spent the day going back and forth from being lucid and present to re-living the past in his head. That night, instead of going home, I was going over to my sister’s place, since she lived around the corner, and we planned to return to my parent’s place first thing in the morning. When I went in to say goodbye to my dad, I didn’t expect much of a response, since he had been in his own world most of the evening, but he grabbed my hand and asked how I was getting home at that hour. I said I was going with my sister to her place, and he said that was okay.
My mom ended up calling us early in the morning on March 3, to let us know that Dad had taken another turn for the worse and was not at all lucid, so she had called an ambulance. A couple of my cousins were there with my parents, so my sister and I literally splashed water on our faces, threw on the same clothes we had on the day before and rushed to my mom’s to pick up the others and follow the ambulance to the hospital.
All day long, he lay there on his emergency room stretcher, clearly in pain, having trouble breathing, and not really present at all. The doctor said he would be like that for a while, and then some time within the next 48 hours, he would slip into a coma, from there, at some point, he would pass away. He was working on getting a bed for my dad in the palliative care ward, which finally happened in the late afternoon. After my dad was safely ensconced in his room, and some of my brothers had arrived at the hospital, I left with my best friend to go home to shower, change, and bring some clothes and toiletries with me. My mom and sister did the same, since, based on what the doctor said, we were going to be spending time in the hospital around the clock. We got back in the early evening. My dad’s sisters were all there, as were all of my brothers except one, who went home to pick up his wife and kids. (He lived out of town, and in the end, he didn’t get back in time.)
As the evening grew later, my dad’s breathing grew more laboured. We each took turns standing around his hospital bed, holding his hand and speaking softly to him. He was having more lucid moments that evening than he had earlier in the day, which was comforting. One of those moments occurred during the last time I was standing by the bed speaking to him. I don’t remember what I was saying to him, but I started crying, and he said to me, “Don’t cry.” So I replied, “You know I’ve never been good to listen, Dad,” and he nodded in agreement. I told him I loved him and he said, “I love you too.” Then, because he has 8 sisters who all wanted to spend some time with him, I moved away and sat in a chair against the wall, at the foot of the bed. He didn’t say anything else.
I know this sounds weird, but I knew he was gone the moment it happened, even though I was in that chair and a bunch of people were around the bed, blocking my view. The reason I knew, is because, out of the blue, I heard my dad singing to me, clear as day. He used to sing this George Jones song called “She’s Mine” which was about a father expressing his love for his little girl who had lost her mom:
I loved him singing that song when I was little, but I hadn’t heard it in years, and there it was, in my head as loud and clear as if he was sitting next to me with the guitar singing away. A moment later, someone standing by his bed said, “He’s not responding, call a nurse,” and not even a minute later, a nurse walked in the room to check on my dad, and she told us he was gone.
So, no 48 hours, no coma, just gone. That was probably for the best, rather than having him continue to suffer, but that really didn’t make things any easier. The last words my dad spoke in this world were to me. We fought like cats and dogs, my dad and I, but despite it all, I was Daddy’s little girl. No matter how angry we got with each other, and what words were said in that anger (and we both said some real doosies), I always knew my dad loved me. I was his baby, and nobody on the planet ever loved me as much as he did. I doubt anyone ever will.
Anyway, it’s been thirteen years and I still think of him every single day, and I still miss him to the point that my heart physically aches. I’ve never written an account of that day, and I don’t know why I am doing it here and now, but apparently I needed to. Luckily I don’t have many followers, so I’m not torturing too many people with my emo.