Why did you have to leave us? We weren’t ready to let you go. Saying Goodbye is never easy and your leaving came without warning. It has left us all so broken hearted and we are missing you so much.
I’m sorry that I’ve been away for so long but we suffered a great loss here a few weeks ago. Without warning my father tragically passed away. We received the call on a Tuesday that he had suffered an Aortic Dissection and massive stroke. When we arrived at the hospital the team of doctors that were working on him told us that there was nothing that they could do and that he only had a short amount time left. Receiving that type of news is very difficult to process. I could see the doctor’s mouth moving but my mind was just thinking that he was wrong. I just saw my dad a few hours before and he was fine. Using the leaf blower to clear the leaves from the driveway, running the chain saw to cut some fire wood….he looked so strong. This couldn’t be the same man that was lying in the hospital bed in front of me.
We prayed for a miracle and our prayer was answered. It may not have been the miracle that we were hoping for but it was a miracle none the less. With the amount of stress and damage that my father’s body had suffered he should not have still been with us let alone been able to talk to us. We were granted the miracle and gift of time with him. The stroke had done its damage but it left one piece of my father’s brain able to function. My father always had a great sense of humor and it was still in tact. Maybe a blessing in some small way. All I wanted to do was cry but he made sure that we had one last laugh together.
The other miracle was that all 6 of his brothers and sisters were nearby and able to get to the hospital in time to see him and say goodbye that evening. The doctors said he would not make it to the morning but he proved them wrong. The following day brought more love from close friends, nieces and nephews coming to be by his side. I was even able to drive to pick my daughter up at college and make it back for her to be with him. He still was not ready to leave us though. He looked as though he was just peacefully sleeping. Ready to wake at any moment. I still wasn’t sure the doctor was right about his condition and was just praying that he would be wrong.
There was one last person that needed to make it back before he would leave us and I knew that was what he was waiting for. My sister had just arrived in Florida when this tragedy befell us and was frantically trying to make it back in time to see him one last time. He was waiting for her. She was his first baby and he was not going to leave her without saying goodbye . She arrived at 11:30 pm with his favorite chocolates that she had promised to bring him from Florida. We were finally all together and surrounded him with our love. We held hands and prayed then my aunt began to sing a beautiful song about angels raising him up. He took his final breath at 5 am and his soul was lifted up to heaven.
The past few weeks have been a whirl wind. My father touched so many lives and the amount of people that came to pay their respects was a true testament of the life he lived. We are so very grateful that so many people came to celebrate his life with us. Some from as far away as Canada and California. From former customers and business associates to the waitress at his favorite restaurant. It was quite clear that his friendly, outgoing, generous personality left a lasting impression on so many.
He greeted everyone with a warm and happy smile and always went out of his way to say hello. Sometimes when we were out at a restaurant he would spot someone that he thought he recognized. He had to go over to say hello and chat. Sometimes he would talk for quite some time with the person only to find out it wasn’t who he thought it was and in fact didn’t know them at all. That always made me laugh. He could talk to anybody! We heard so many wonderful stories like this over the past few weeks. One of my favorites was shared by a fellow parishioner. Every Friday our church holds a fish fry. One particular Friday my father came through the exit area and cut all of the cars waiting in line. The gentleman working the fish fry asked my father what he was doing and if he wanted to place and order. My dad just replied “No. I just want to make a donation.” He handed him some cash and drove off. He was one of the most generous people I know.
Dad, you were a great father and an even better grandfather. Thank you for being a part of my children’s lives and helping to mold them into the incredible adults they have become. I wish you didn’t have to leave us so soon. It still has not sunk in that you’re are not coming home. I still feel like I’m going to walk through the front door and see you sitting at your computer.
Saying Goodbye isn’t easy. The only thing that makes your leaving a little more bearable is the fact that this really isn’t goodbye. I know I will see you again soon. In a blink of an eye we will meet again…..I love you dad.