My Daddy is Leaving

I need to start writing things down - fast. Before the pain comes and I won't be able to do it.

Daddy is leaving this earth. He has been for a long time now.

We are a bit jaded, my family, because daddy had his first heart attack when I was just old enough to be alarmed. My mom and dad had to run to the hospital in the middle of the night, and we were shuffled to Aunt Frances house. I was in the third grade.

After that it has been a long run of dad surviving heart attacks, by-passes, stints, prostate cancer, then colon cancer of which he is only in remission, a stroke that took his cognitive thinking and vision (Of which he had to stop driving), those are the major events - there were many little ones like losing three toes in a mowing accident, having diabetes that is almost uncontrollable and a leg he broke in three places from a fall from the roof - all these events in the last 30 years.

We came to all fear the worst, the phone call, the ambulance run, worry, wait and daddy eventually comes home.  One day that is not going to be the case.

I think a lot like my dad - and many times identify with him. He is much of a loner though he has really good friends, I am like that. He was an avid reader, I trailed after him reading all he did because if he could sit for hours and read a book - it had to be good. I read the hunting and fishing magazine stories, Reader's Digest, The National Geographic, and daddy always read his Bible. I loved having long discussions about what I read, knowing he had, his opinions were adapted by me - it took me a long time before I formed my own opinions because - well dad's were always right, Am I right?

I remember once dad said that I formed answers that were rock hard, and it wasn't allowing me to see through - that I was creating stumbling blocks. Years later, I finally 'got' what he meant.

Dad lived, he is well loved by the community and respected. He fished, hunted, loved Little League and loved our family fiercely and Jesus Christ most of all.

A couple of years ago I took him to the Little League Hall of Fame for his Birthday and was amazed at what dad knew - he loved it there, they have a room of questions about early Little League, dad could tell you most everything in that room, it was all memory - not history for him, and when we went into the room that held official questions, dad knew everyone of them and answered them correctly. I was amazed and learned a little more about him that day. It was a gift for me too.

He teared up a little looking out at the actual ball field.

I also know boxing rules, and champions like Ali, Sugar Ray, Foreman, Boom Boom Mancini, Leon Spinks, Joe Fraser..and so on. I also sat through many Westerns, and can recall so many titles to this day.

I recall sitting, eating popcorn and watching  the John Wayne movie, The Cowboys, where young boys had to help herd cattle and the one boy gets trampled, I was inconsolable. Poor dad was a little lost at how to handle it.

I also remember I begged dad to let me watch Dracula - I was 12, and I literally begged, he watched it with me, warning me that I was going to be frightened. Years later he told me that he could see my light was on as my room was directly above theirs and the old house allowed a glow in cracks.I think it was over a week before Dracula died out enough in my thoughts to turn the light off again.

Dad has been there anytime I needed answers and was there when I didn't want him to be either.

He is stubborn, but fair and yet always afraid we would forget him.

I learned during a very hard time of my life, how his childhood was harder than I knew, and I once again bonded, if dad can overcome - so can I.

Dad is 79 - he outlived 3 brothers with the same heart issue - his daddy and uncles died young, way too young, and yet we won't ever be ready for the time to come for him to travel home. 

Dad's heart has stopped several times the last two weeks. He refuses to be old though. He has fought tooth and nail for his independence and I don't blame him.

Today, after this incident, his heart stopped again, they want to do a procedure. Dad has two chambers working, he said he was done with them poking and prodding, mom doesn't want to be done, and I understand that too.But she finally understood that his wishes need to be met.

But, this has made me realize, dad is really leaving us, he is tired, his 'thinker' doesn't think as well and he said when the Good Lord is ready to take him, he is ready to go.

I will miss him, like a big hole in my life. He was our glue. Our dad and identifier. 

He is here for now - but I think heaven is stocking the fishing hole daddy, and I will miss you, Big time.


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  2. this is such a heartwarming and bittersweet write, my friend. Its true I guess we all somehow inherently know when we are done and ready to go. Savor all those little moments till....I know you will. Much love to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Bella - Doing my best to do just that.
      We are hoping to spend a week with thme in July - bringing them here. Them - as in Mom and Dad.

  3. your Dad is one strong man and so are you.


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