Okay guys, I need to let you know about something that is going on with me right now. Two weeks ago, my mom and I drove down to Lake Wales to spend some time where we lived for so long. We got into town Wednesday afternoon, had an incredible afternoon tea, and then I started calling/texting my dad because we were supposed to be meeting for dinner. After not hearing back from him, I started to get annoyed, but frankly it wasn’t completely unexpected. My dad answers the phone when he is ready to answer the phone, and so to kill time, my mom and I headed out to do some Christmas shopping. All of a sudden my phone starts blowing up from my uncle and my aunt. It turns out there was a very good reason he wasn’t answering the phone. He was dead. Yeah, you read that right. I full on ugly cried right in the middle of TJ Maxx and made a panicked call to Andy; my mom got me out to the car and I managed to get it together to start making phone calls and piecing together what happened.
My dad has been battling a cold for a couple of months now. Turns out it was more than a cold, my uncle had taken him to hospital a couple of weeks ago where they’d given him fluids and meds. Then on Frida,y he’d been very sick at work, needing to sit and rest every half hour or so. Monday he called his boss to say he needed to go to the dentist to get a replacement for his dentures and that was the last anyone heard from him. After a day and a half of no call/no show, his coworkers started calling around to his usual haunts (since he had no “in case of emergency” contact) and realized no one had seen him. Finally the police were called and they went to his house. As far as we can tel,l he passed in his sleep sometime Monday afternoon/evening.
I am so angry right now. Angry at him for not taking care of himself. Angry at myself for not being a bigger pain in the ass about keeping in touch. Angry at the universe in general because he was only 64 and there is no way he should have been gone this soon. Saturday I met his friends at his favorite bar, and we had a last round in his honor. It was incredible connecting with these people I knew only from vague occasional reference. My dad kept everything so compartmentalized that I only was privy to a sliver of what his day to day world was like. I hugged the members of this second family, and I thanked them from the bottom of my heart for taking care of him when I couldn’t be there. He was so loved, and he was so much more complex than I knew. I hate that I didn’t push harder for a closer relationship, that I let myself be content with our couple times a month phone calls and semi-annual get together. As I sit here typing this, his ashes rest on my mantle, and his beloved cat is curled up on my couch. There is never a good time for something like this, but around the holidays is especially hard because this is when we would have been spending time together. So when I post gift guides and holiday fun, it’s because I am desperately in need of a way to step away from this for a bit. I hope you guys will indulge me and follow along, and I’ll do my best to be honest and open with you guys on this journey.