My last post was June 17th, 2012. It was father's day. My entire family in NY got together and had a picnic at my dad's house. I was the only one missing since I live in FL. We went to church and then went to my husbands parents house and had lunch with his family. It was a nice afternoon and when we got home I laid on my couch and called my dad. He sounded so happy. He was rushed because there were so many people at the picnic and he was saying goodby to some. He said, " Wow, you wouldn't believe how many people are here. It's unbelievable. Let me call you right back." I said OK, told him that I just wanted to wish him a Happy Father's day and told him that I loved him. I assumed I would just talk to him later like many times before. We had just Skyped the night before because he paid for L's entire birthday party and L wanted to tell him all about the party and say thank-you. We talked for 2 minutes 38 seconds on Father's Day.
June 18th, 2012 at 8:00pm Monday night and I was on my way to the grocery store. I usually call someone when I'm in the car alone since its so rare that I am all alone and in the quiet. I almost called my dad back but remembered that I missed a call from an old friend and called her instead. I wish I would have called my dad. I came home and watched a movie with Joey.
The movie ended and Joey got up to go to the bathroom. It was 12:03am and my phone rang. It was June 19, 2012. I didn't get a bad feeling but jokingly told Joey that I hated when my phone rang at night because it means something bad might have happened. I went to the living room picked up my phone and saw it was my sister. Even then, I had no warning. I assumed she was calling me back on her way home from work. She was crying hard and said, "Ame, there is something wrong with Daddy. He's not breathing right." I didn't understand. What did that mean?? She said that he might have had a heart attack. I immediately started crying and my body acted like you would think it should, I was sobbing and shaking but in my mind, I was calm. I was saying to myself that I am such a drama queen. He is fine. These things are always OK. He is fine. Throughout the next few hours, I talked to all of my siblings and my dad's wife and no one knew what happened and how serious things were. Stacy told me he was stable. Julie told me he was brain dead. Eric didn't know and Johnny told me he was gone. After talking to Stacy, I decided that he was going to be OK and the rest were just scared and exaggerating. I tried to lay down and then my mom called. She said it was not good and she didn't think he was going to make it. I couldn't talk to her anymore and told myself she too must be wrong and just assuming the worst. I immediately bought a plane ticket and was in NY by 10am Tuesday morning without E who was still nursing. I couldn't bring her because I could barely function. I cried the entire plane ride and couldn't speak to anyone who asked what was wrong. I kept praying it wasn't as bad as I thought. But, it was worse.
My brother picked me up and we went straight to the hospital. When I got
to the ER, I remember my mom and sisters walking up to me in the
parking lot and we were all hugging each-other and crying. I went into the waiting
room where there were at least 40 relatives already there, most had been
there the entire night. I finally had enough nerve to go and see him
after about 30 minutes. Right before I went in, I saw my aunt's face and
knew that it would be awful. It was awful. I can't even write this
without sobbing. My daddy was laying there on machines but not alive. I
knew he wasn't there. I talked to him and sang to him and cried
hysterically, hugged and kissed him and begged God for a miracle. The days following are a complete blur to me. I
know my husband came the next day with my daughter but other than that I
barely remember who was there and what happened. He officially died on
June 21st of cardiac arrest but we lost him June 18, 2012.
There was a
line out the door and down the street at the funeral home. People waited
in line for hours in the rain the pay their respects. They even had
police escorts on the way to the grave site. I was proud that he was my dad. How could this happen? How
is this real? I still can't imagine that he is really gone. He was 51!
He was getting ready to go shark fishing. I was not-I am not ready to
lose my dad. I still need him. I don't know exactly which day was the
worst day. Was it June 18th? the 19th? the 21st? or everyday after that?
I don't know but I wanted to write this out because I need to. It's been 8 months and I have
so much more to say. I want to write about his life and what he was
like. I want to write about the things that surprised me about grief.
My lack of faith and God's faithfulness. I have much more to say and I
will say them. But for now I am emotionally drained because even as I
write this, it feels like it was yesterday-the worst day of my life.