My dad had passed New Year’s Day 2013 early in the morning. He was in the hospital for just under a month (December 7, 2012). Prior to going into the hospital my dad had gone through so much in his life. He was originally born a preemie, had polio as a child and later in life had been on blood medication for as long as I remember. He had heart valve replacement, rotator cuff, knee replacement and multiple hip replacement surgeries. Between original hip replacements, infections and because of falls secondary hip replacements I think he had a total of 6 surgeries on his hips in total. He had prostate cancer with more blood transfusions than I can even count. He had gone through so much in his life (more than I am writing) due to many medical conditions.
Thanksgiving 2012 I remember going to pick him and my mom up to go to my in laws. He was really in a bad place. I had to lift him out of the chair when I arrived, needed to walk with him every step and help sit him into the chair at the dinner table. He would just sit there with very little, if any conversation at the dinner table the whole night. On December 7th I took off to take him to his doctor’s appointment where his doctor had requested that we take him directly to the hospital due to a 104 degree fever.
In the 3 weeks he was in the hospital, there were two times that stick out in my mind where I really had hope that he was going to get out of the hospital. The first was about one week after he went in the hospital staff was even talking about possibly releasing him to a rehab facility. When we went to see him in the hospital, he was sitting in a chair eating breakfast and talking normal (no slurred words in a nice loud voice). Unfortunately the next day, which happened to be the day they were expecting to release him, he reverted and was back in the hospital bed. I truly believe it was due to the fact that he wanted to ONLY go home and not to rehab. The second was when his cousins and brother came to see him. Though lying in bed, he would try and talk to them and would smile at stories that they told from when they were kids. Other than these times he would pretty much lie in bed sometimes talking and sometimes not.
Though I really did not want to celebrate the holidays, my family convinced me that we should as ‘dad’ would not want us not to celebrate. He was a truly special person whose biggest concern was that everyone around him was happy. When he was hurting or sick, he never showed it or admitted to it because he didn’t want to inconvenience the people he loved.
After having a quiet New Year’s Eve dinner and just spending some time with family. We all went home and just as I got into bed I received a call from my mother that the hospital called her to tell her and I to come up right away as he was not doing well. We rushed up there and stayed by his bedside. Just about 3:30 AM New Year’s Day, my dad passed.
I believe because last year I was holding on to every last hope, this year it really hit me. Having my family around has been a big help but when we went to the cemetery yesterday after mass, it really hit me hard. I had to pull myself away from the gravesite, feet away from my family who went and started to let it out. I will always miss him and I only hope that over time I will learn to cope with my feelings and not cry so much. I know others who have lost loved ones this year and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Many friends and those here in social media have expressed their thoughts and prayers and I thank you all.
Missing Dad This Holiday Season was a piece I also did.
Check out TheHuffingtonPost.com “1st Holiday Season Without A Loved One” here