My dad passed away Tuesday, February 9th. I wasn’t ready to talk about it on here before now. I just miss him so, so much.
I was at my normal Tuesday noon spin class. I don’t normally put my phone at the bottom of my bike but I did that day. We got off the bike about 35 minutes into class to do some arm work. When I was about to get back on my bike, I noticed that I had three missed calls, two from my mom and one from Eric. I immediately had that feeling, that bad feeling when you know something isn’t right. I left the spin room and listened to Eric’s message first. His message said, “Your dad collapsed and it doesn’t look good. Go home now.” I called him back and he said was already on the way to their house and asked if I wanted him to come get me.” I said no, grabbed my stuff, and drove over to my parents’ house, crying the entire way.
My mom usually works in the morning. She didn’t go in that day because she had an eye appointment for her future cataract surgery. She said that she and my dad went to it together and had a nice morning together. He said he felt a little funny but they just thought that maybe it was anxiety or something. They got home and my mom walked into the house. She then heard a loud noise. She went to the garage, saw that my dad had collapsed, and called 911. They had her check to see if he was breathing (I think she thought he was a little bit at that time). EMS got there quickly and did CPR on him. Our neighbors, the Mayers, were there with her. Eric was randomly doing training out by their house and he beat me there. I got there next, and then my brother, Billy. It was pretty awful watching them work on my dad. They had this machine that did the CPR compressions for them. It felt like forever before they decided to transport him to the hospital. My mom rode in the ambulance with him and I rode with Billy behind them. Eric and the Mayers stayed behind to make sure everything was shut.
When we got to the hospital, they took us to a little room to wait in. Sarah (Billy’s wife), Eric, the Mayers, and Mary (Eric’s mom), were there with us. After working on my dad for almost an hour, they took us back to see him while the nurses lined up in a train to do CPR on him and they tried pushing different medications to get his heart to start. We just held his hand through it all. I think the doctor wanted us to see how hard they were working on him to no avail. He talked to us about discontinuing CPR. I refused to make that decision so my mom and Billy had to make that tough call. I just couldn’t do it. They stepped out to talk the doctor and I stayed in the room to continue holding his hand. They stopped CPR and my dad passed away at 2:45pm. A priest from Holy Trinity came over to give my dad his last rites and we were able to stay with him for a while to tell him good-bye. It just didn’t feel real when we left the hospital without him.
It was awful telling the boys. Just awful. Our friends had taken them home from school for us so we waited to tell them until we got home. I think we went back to my mom’s house after that. Is it horrible that I don’t remember? It seems like everything just kind of ran together after that. The next few days consisted of making plans while family came into town. My dad didn’t like a lot of fuss so it was fairly easy to pick out his coffin, flowers and service details. My mom knew which cemetery to bury him in. Eric’s dad passed away in 2002 from cancer, just six months before we were married. He was buried in that same cemetery and there was a plot open, just five down from his. We took it. My mom wants to be cremated so her remains will eventually be buried above him. We were so busy that week that I don’t feel like I really had time to process everything until it was over. I cried a lot and was sad but I don’t think the reality of everything hit me until after the funeral.
My dad never regained consciousness after he collapsed. I never got to tell him again that I loved him. Selfishly, I’m sometimes jealous of people whose family members were sick and they were able to savor those last months or days and say their good-byes. But, I’m also glad he didn’t suffer, and I know in my heart that he knew that he was loved.
I miss my dad.