Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Father - R.I.P. Dad

My father, my hero growing up and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and miss him dearly.

He was just 17 years old when he married my 18 year old mother.  I can't even imagine getting married that young.....they went on to have/raise 7 children.  (I'm the youngest.  The oldest is a girl then five boys and then me).

I was sixteen years old.  It was Easter in 1987 and the whole family was together - which is rare for our family - some siblings live out of state.  It was a great time and I missed my sister and brothers.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I was awakened by screams.  Mom is screaming for me to call 9-1-1!  For a split second, I think someone has broken into our house and then I realize it's Dad, something is wrong with Dad.

I get out of bed, run to the phone and dial 9-1-1 - the 9-1-1 operator answered and I told her I needed an ambulance.  She told me that my mom had just called and help was on the way.  Then I hear my mom screaming for me to help her, I tell the 9-1-1 operator that mom is calling for me, she tells me to set the phone down not to hang up.  I run into their bedroom and she yells "Help me move him!".  I stare at my Dad's lifeless body, his eyes and mouth are partially open.  She yells again "Help me move him!" 

I heard her the first time but couldn't move - the second time I respond by grabbing his legs as she grabs his shoulders.  As I get him to the side of the bed, I underestimate how heavy he would be and he slips out of my hands and on to the floor.  I quickly grab his legs again and drag him to the living room.  As soon as my hands come off his legs, the fire department is in the house and I get out of the way.

I go to my room, they have moved Dad to the kitchen and begin trying to resucitate him.  I feel like I'm in a dream.  I don't cry.  I don't do anything but listen to the men working on my father.  I see them take Dad past my room on a stretcher.  I hear a loud wheeze and and an EMS yells "turn that off".  I later find out that they had punctured one of Dad's lungs as they tried to bring him back.

I'm at the hospital in a white, cold room.  My sister, my brothers and my mom are there.  Dad is in the center of the room on a stretcher with only a sheet on.  A priest gives him his last rites.  I turn to face the wall and begin banging my head on the wall.  I feel hands on me, I push them off and move away from them.  I hear my mom, kiss your Dad goodbye.  I can't - he's dead - I can't.

After the funeral, I remember her words.....I'm about 5 years old and she (Mom) tells me to go and tell Dad to quit smoking and drinking so he'll be here to walk me down the isle. 

I got married in 1994 and my oldest brother walked me down the isle.

Dad - I love you and think about you every day.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that alone. I love you and so does God.