9 years ago today I sat in a hospital with all my siblings,Â my mom, my dad’s best friend, and a couple of his closest business associates.
This is what I wrote in June of 2005:
My dad passed away on August 17th 2001. He was 60 years old. I will never forget the day he died. Or should I say the week. C (my ex-husband) asked my dad if he could marry me on Saturday August 11th. Of course my dad gave his blessing. I should say surprisingly considering I was only 20 years old he gave his blessing. (Oh my god was I young…) Well I left for the Beach on Sunday August 12th with my mom for a girls week at my aunts house. My father had a business trip in Tennessee on Tuesday. My brother Casey drove him to the airport for his flight and he wasn’t feeling well, but still got on the plane. While in the air he had two heart attacks. He landed in Nashville and was meant by a business associate (who he was meeting for the first time, what an impression he left on that man) who immediately drove him to the local hospital. It turned out to be the best heart hospital in the country, go figure. My dad was in the hospital when he called us at the beach to tell my mom he had a heart attack but that he was fine and there was no need for her to come down. (Yeah frickin right, like that would really happen!) My mom ended up talking with the hospital and it was worse than my dad had thought or I guess wanted to believe. He not only had two heart attacks he had previous mild heart attaches the week prior to his flight. He had done lots of damage to his heart and they didn’t know how or if he would recover. But with therapy it seemed like a possibility. My mom left the beach and went home to get my youngest brother. They flew down Wednesday Morning first thing. My dad was extremely angry that my mom had come down and kept telling her it wasn’t necessary. He didn’t want her to worry and he was going to be coming home in a few days (yeah he only wished, it would have been a long time before he came home, if he ever came home. They would not have released him to fly) My mom called each of us kids and we each got to talk to him. He reassured us he was ok and would be home soon. I told him I loved him and would see him soon. That was the last time I ever spoke to my dad. After he talked to us kids my mom said that they were having some words about his condition and her being there. As my mom and Jeff were leaving to go to check in to the hotel. My dad suffered a massive heart attack where he had to be revived. Then he was put into a drug induced coma to keep as much stress off his heart as much as possible. He suffered so much heart damage his heart would more than likely never function like it used to. My mom called all of us kids first thing Thursday Morning and we were all on a plane by 10am. My sister lived in VA beach at the time so she flew from there. C (my future husband) came with me and my two brothers, Casey & Jim. We all arrived in Nashville around the same time and headed straight to the hospital. My mom kept apologizing she hadn’t called us sooner but things happened so fast (on top of that my dad was mad she was there he would have been even more stressed if all of us kids had come to). Business associates and family that could all make it flew in while he was in a coma to see him. His heart was in terrible condition as well as his liver and other organs because he was a diabetic. He would not have been a candidate for a heart transplant because of that. He passed away around 5pm on Friday August 17th. He was only 60 years old.
August 17th is a day that will ring in my mind as the worst day of my life. I will never forget that trip to Nashville, the smell of that hospital, the sad flight home when the lady checking us in asked if we left anyone behind ( I think because there were so many of us flying). The look on her face when I said “yeah my dad, he died at Vanderbelt”! I guess she was not expecting that answer and I am sure she has never asked anyone that question again. I remember the weeks coming home after he had died, the sadness all around. The years that have gone by that I have not talked to him, kissed him, or told him I loved him. I know he knows it all but it is not the same! The sadness I feel that he missed my wedding, my 21st birthday, my 25th birthday, the birth of his grandchildren, the birth of my children someday, the sadness I feel that my children will never have known my father. My heart aches for everything he has missed and is missing. But life goes on and so do we, the actual missing of your loved one never goes away just the daily reminders suddenly lessen, which if you think about that, that is sad as well.
My biggest regret and I don’t have many is that I didn’t use my camera more to capture my family. I used it a lot with my friends in high school and I took a lot of picture of the kids, but my dad, I have very few pictures of him and even less online. I now capture my family as much as possible! More than they would probably like.