Today marks the 15th anniversary of my dad's passing. I will never forget those last 5 days in the hospital that seem like just yesterday in so many ways. My dad went into the hospital in the early morning hours of Wednesday, was moved to a private room on Friday and lost his fight cancer on Sunday evening.
Friday evening was the last time I saw him conscious.
That Sunday evening is emblazoned on my brain. He had a corner room and it was filled with family and friends. We were all sitting around telling stories and just being with one another. I had something and we all laughed, and dad opened his eyes. Several of us jumped up and went to his bedside, but it was painfully obvious that he was not with us, but looking at something else, a better place. He was not seeing the hospital room filled with family and friends, but I like to think he was seeing the face of Jesus. The nurses came in and checked his vitals. His breathing was shallow and his heart was still beating. I hope he could feel us and the love we were sending as we waited patiently for his body to shut down. I recall my mother sitting on the right side of his bed and stroking his face while I held his hand, my brother was at our side. Our Sunday night church service had just ended and my parent's close friends came over to see how we were holding up. As soon as they walked into the room and up to the bed, my dad closed his eyes and it was over. I still believe he saw them and knew it was okay to give up. It was time to rest.
Leaving the hospital was surreal. Going home to my mom's house was even worse. Our new world had begun.
My dad was young, only 45 when he lost his fight with cancer. He fought hard up until the very end. I married the following summer. My biggest regret is that dad did not get to meet my husband or walk me down the isle. I did not get to have him walk me down the isle so I chose not to have a traditional wedding ceremony. I never got to see his face light up as my babies came running to him or get to see him lift them up into his arms. I know he is in the presence of Jesus and I know, one day, we will see him again.
4 hours ago