I Had A Gut Feeling

My dad battled stage IV melanoma for 2 years and 3 weeks.  He was diagnosed on my first day of classes in college, which I found out much later that night via email.  Email was the preferred method of communication (for him, especially about personal matters).  He told my 4 younger siblings casually over a pizza dinner.  At the time, they were 15, 14, 12, and 6 years old.  He never told my oldest sister who was 28 and the mother of his only grandson.  If my memory serves me, my 15 year old brother made the call to our oldest sister, whom he did not know from a hole in the wall.  

He passed on overnight, probably in  the wee hours of the morning on September 29, 2008.  It was a monday, my stepmother found him dead when she woke to get the "little ones" ready for school.   The preceding weekend, I begged and pleaded with my mom to let me go home for a few days.  Hospice had given him a few days to live with no chance of reigning in the cancer.  Mom's response was that I should stay in Boston and continue with my classes.  I made it to one class that monday, before I found out.

My sister in law called me while I was in English class, apparently my non-chalant text of "in class, what's up" set off a flurry of phone calls.  Barely 5 minutes later I got a call from my younger brother who was supposed to be in school without his cellphone.  In somewhat of a daze, I got up and left class to answer.  After we talked for 20 minutes or so, it was time for class to be over.  I gathered my things and explained to the professor why I'd left and that I wouldn't be back for a while.

The rest of the day was a blur.  Somehow I made it to the last house my Dad lived in - still complete with medical supplies, medication, a walker, special cushions, etc.  

Friday night, we had his wake (or "celebration of his life" as my stepmom called it), and sunday was the funeral- held in the last church he pastored.  I have not set food in that church since... I don't think I can.  Most days I can't think of any memories of him that don't threaten a cascade of tears,

More recently, since a little time has passed, I've begun to think about what happened and how unfair it was.  He died 12 days after his 53rd birthday, which he was not coherent for.  He left behind 2 ex-wives, a widow, and 7 children who ranged in age from 8 to 30, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson.  He also predeceased his parents, all 7 of his siblings (including a twin brother) and various cousins, nieces. and nephews.  I can't help but thinking the wrong twin died.  My dad's twin brother is an active alcoholic, unmarried, and has no children.  

All speculation and stompy feelings  aside, I miss my dad.  He was too young to die.  He saw one child (me) graduate from high school - didn't see anyone graduate from college and attended my older brother's wedding about 6 weeks before he passed on.  

So many times I've wished for a dad-hug, or just to be able to call him and tell him some bit of exciting news in my life.  
fieryrockstar fieryrockstar
26-30, F
Aug 11, 2010