A year ago yesterday, I leaned down and kissed my dad for the last time. He held my hand tight as I said it never feels like the right time to say good-bye. Our hands remained held and outstretched as I walked toward the door, and finally they separated. As my family and I drove back to our home in Algona from his hospital room in Omaha, I knew it was the last time I was going see him.
A year ago this morning, I talked to my dad for the last time. He answered his phone when I called to see how he was feeling that day. He shared with me that his uncontrollable shaking the day before was caused by an infection. He also said that it was very serious. Quickly, our call ended because a doctor came into his room.
A year ago this afternoon, my youngest sister called me. She told me that she and our mom had gone to Omaha. My sister had a busy day planned, but my mom had a strong feeling she would need my sister with her that day. They had reached the hospital and dad was going into surgery, everything was going fine and dad had made it out okay. Not so long later, I received a message that things were not going okay. Dad was having complications and my siblings were heading to Omaha from our home town of Audubon.
A year ago around 7:00 p.m., I received a call from my middle sister. We were going to loose my dad that night. I hung up the phone and wept.
A year ago tonight, my mom, my siblings, and my nieces and nephews gathered around my dad while he lay asleep breathing deeply. They talked to him and told him how much they loved him and sang church hymns around him. I took a pill to relax me that night and laid in bed trying to maybe get a little sleep. I felt terrible not being there. The 4 hour trip was not going to be possible and I didn’t know if I would make it in time. I laid and visualized the scene. I was there in spirit.
A year ago after midnight, my dad became restless. My mom stroked his hand and told him she loved him and that it was okay for him to leave. She would be with him as soon as she could.
A year ago somewhere around 3:30 a.m. – I don’t remember the exact time anymore – I received a call from my middle sister saying that Dad had just passed away peacefully.
A year ago tomorrow, my dad was with God in paradise.
This past year has gone quickly in some ways and in some ways it seems like a long time ago. I have spent the last few days reflecting on our loss. I can still hear Dad talking to me. I can still visualize how happy he was at my mom and dad’s 50th anniversary a few months earlier. I can still picture him laughing… My comfort comes in knowing that I will see him again. I look forward to that day, just not yet. I find joy in knowing that he has many other family members and friends with him and he is so very happy right now. I rejoice that he has made a point of giving me signs that he is around. Thank you for that, Dad! I miss you and I love you!