There were no plans for a blog this week, just as there were no plans for my father to pass away yesterday.
On Sunday, my mom called with the terrible news that Dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital. While watching CBS Sunday Morning, dad went into the kitchen and called out to my mom for help, saying that he did not feel well. She recognized that things were serious, sat dad down and called 911. Upon admission, the preliminary position was that he had suffered a major heart attack and quickly underwent a plethora of tests. Later in the day, a heart attack was ruled out and significant fluid build up around the pericardium was observed. He was admitted to ICU and the fluid was drained. Things seemed less-dire at nighttime.
Early yesterday, I drove Lynn the hour to the Pensacola airport for her two week support visit to help her mom and dad. Just before we reached the airport, my mom texted positive news – “Dad had a good night. He hurts, so besides Vicodin, they gave him a bit of morphine. I called at 6:30 AM and spoke with him and he sounded good. I slept three hours with phone next to me and that was scary as I dreaded it to ring. I’ll go for a visit around noon”. So, with that positive news, I kissed Lynn and watched her walk into the Pensacola Airport. Twenty minutes later, I’m Westbound on I-10 near the Alabama border and my phone rings. “Jimmy, Dad just died.” Going 70 mph on the highway, there’s not much to do, so I listened to my mom explain that while a nurse was in his room, he had just been talking about his granddaughter Jessica and all of a sudden became unresponsive. A group of medical professionals tried to save him for twenty minutes but were unsuccessful. And, just like that, a wife is a widow, two kids lost their dad and two grandkids lost their Papee. I was incredibly conflicted as to whether to share this news with Lynn thirty minutes before she boarded the jet. Denise and Greg, thank you for being the ones to pick up the phone when I called and needed trusted judgement. I’ll never forget it.
Even as I type this, I have no idea if I should keep writing or stop writing. I’ve seen many social media posts about the death of a loved one and always feel twisted up, not knowing what to say…how much to say…Do they want privacy…or do they want to talk? Right now, Lynn’s dealing with new complications with her dad and somehow we have to co-ordinate trips to Boston and then she needs to figure out if she’s coming home or back to help her mom and dad. I’ve got a Jeep with a charging issue and the dealership can’t see me till Friday. God knows what I’ll find in the bottom of the freezer, but whatever it is…That’s what is for dinner. Dose Two of Lynn’s vaccine has to be rescheduled and I’m working on constructing two hours of suitable music for the gathering next Tuesday. I’ve got a few hundred photos of his life on a digital frame which will be present at the ceremony and Bella’s going to see what living in a kitty hotel is all about.
One of the things I have been working on recently with my therapist is trying to figure out why I’ve buried virtually all memories of the first part of my life. When she asked me to write down all the memories of my first 18 years, the very first thing that came out was playing catch in the backyard with a baseball. Each and every day that the weather permitted, throwing and catching with my dad was the highpoint of my day.
This pandemic has prevented me from seeing my parents for over a year. My dad was adamant that if he became infected with COVID, it was a death sentence. Both he and my mom were ecstatic to have recently received the vaccines. What an udder obscenity it turned out that as soon as he felt that he could begin to live again, ….. he could not. Given Dad’s recent twenty pound weight loss, they
OK, I decided. No more typing. As I write this sentence, Lynn and her mom are rushing back to the hospital as her dad is having complications. Substituting for the typical “Lynn’s Two Cents”, I’ll let her words to me a moment ago cover the dual family situations….
What A Fucking Mess.
Pictures of a life well-lived for 85 years below.