I have been feeling a little funky the last couple of days and so I have been taking it easy. This afternoon I went and laid down to take a nap and woke up with tears streaming down my face ~ I woke from a dream about my Dad. And then I remembered…
10 years ago today he passed away. I have been told I have a gift of being able to remember dates and events but sometimes I think it can be a curse. I remember the morning I heard so vividly. I had been at work about 15 minutes when I got a call from Ron asking if I had any meetings or anything this morning. I told him no, he said well don’t go run any errands. He would be there in a few. Now I am thinking why would I go run errands at 8:00 in the morning. And then my mind started racing…what is wrong? what happened to the boys? did something happen to his Mom? my Mom? I didn’t have to wait long.
Ron walked into my office and shut the door. And then he told me my sister, Kathy, had called him and told him my Dad had died that morning. I stood there and in walked Charles U. and Darlene E. (later I found out I had let out a blood curdling scream) and Ron was hugging me and I was crying. Ron told them what happened. Charles told me I could go home. I just sat there dazed not knowing what to do. After about 10 minutes I said I would go home after I got all the paychecks organized and distributed ~ it was pay day and I couldn’t let the employees not get paid. And straighten a few things in the office.
I also called Kathy and told her I would call her back in a couple of hours to see what was going to happen ~ you know arrangements and stuff.
I worked till about 10:30 telling Charles I would call him to let him know what was going on and then drove home. I remember crying and praying and wondering what was I supposed to do. After arriving home Ron and I talked then called Kathy back. There would be no service but if I wanted to come and see him I could. We were in WA state and they were in Sacramento, CA. So phone calls were made along with arrangements to have Brandon fly from Idaho to CA and for Ron, Jamie and I to drive down. We left Ferndale about noonish and arrived at my sister’s in Sacramento at 6:00 the next morning.
I wish I could say the next few days were a blur but they are clearly etched in my mind ~ seeing my dad with his stomach bloated and extended. And replaying something he said many years prior to me “that he would always have us girls but not his friends.” (That is another post ~ it had to do with the accident where I lost my eye and the following lawsuit.) And that is who was there ~ us three girls, George, Kathy’s husband, her daughter Christi and Ron and our boys. After seeing my Dad at the mortuary we drove over and saw my Mom. Even though they had been divorced and remarried a couple of times each, Mom was dealing with her own grief and sadness related to my Dad. We stayed in CA for a few days and then made our way home.
Saying good-bye to my Dad was bittersweet. We were saying good-bye to him and yet we had done that five years prior when he had tried to commit suicide in summer of 1995. After that he was moved to a locked care facility. He didn’t always know who his kids were or how long time had passed. Sometimes he knew us and other times we met him in the moment of where he was. In his last 10 years of life he dealt with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia due to alcoholism. The last few years of his life we enjoyed short fun visits with him ~ bringing him chocolate or strawberry milkshakes and sending him small packages of M&M’s and at Christmas time sending him Aplets & Cotlets from Liberty Orchards…he found those candies on one of his trips to our home in WA. To this day we buy little packages of Aplets & Cotlets and put them in the kids and grands Christmas stocking’s as a way of remembering my Dad.
All these thoughts have been running through my head since I woke up from my nap. Also probably why I am missing Jamie & Suzanne & Opal and Brandon & Danalyn, Max, Christopher & Treyson…missing my family and being reminded that family is the most important thing we have. So hug your kids and grands extra hard today and let those close to you know how much they mean to you.
Love and miss you Dad!!!