My dad, my hero, a psychology professor and prolific reader, took his last breath on Friday July 9th, 2021 at 1:47.
Back story: Dad had been living in Texas but was not doing well in assisted living. My husband and I bought a house in February w/a bedroom and full bath on the first floor. My best friend and I began to plot to get him here in March. We had flights booked. I was going to Dallas then fly home with Dad and Sally was going to meet us here in NC. But then, his credentials were stolen so he couldn’t fly commercial. Then we booked tickets to fly to Dallas, rent a car and drive him here to NC. The Friday before we were going to fly out he fell and broke his hip. He got a pin in his hip and went to “rehab”. We ended up flying him here via Angel Med Flight May 22nd, which is basically an ambulance in the sky.
After the broken hip we wondered whether we could adequately care for him. And we certainly needed the help we recruited. But while he lived with us he was surrounded by friends and family, who spent time with him, cooked for him, helped him to eat, held his hand, and made him smile. After he’d passed she commented that it really wasn’t that hard to care for him and that she was incredibly glad we had. Though it started out in our minds as an effort for us to take care of him, in the end we all realized we were the ones who were blessed.
We had our version of a wake last night. I love these people who surrounded us with love, food, and laughter. Below are some of the conversations we had while he was here. Thanks to Sally, my partner in crime, for starting to write them down when he first arrived, May 22nd.
Me: Dad are you comfortable? We want to make sure you are comfortable.
Dad: That’s a sure sweet thing to say. It was a good thing I ran into you this morning. (For sure he was confused a lot about time especially, but always sweet)
After talking to Steven on the phone
Me: Dad do you want to say goodby to Steve?
Dad: Why would I ever want to say goodby to Steve? (he says with a sweet smile)
Me: Dad you remember Sally?
Dad: Ms. Patton? Forever.
Me: Dad I’m going to bring you some food and maybe you’ll be hungry when you smell it
Dad to Sally: If you can’t trust your daughter who can you trust?
After eating Laura’s flan
Me: Dad it’s really good for you. It’s got a ton of eggs in it.
Dad: Those are best eggs I’ve ever eaten
Laura: I’ll make him flan forever
Me: Dad, Carolyn and I will be right be back with dinner (after having served him some appetizers)
Dad: Just like the old days.
Dad: We’ll get this done
Me: We always do
Dad: And I suspect we always will
Me: Truer words have never been spoken