Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Eight Years Ago...

Dad in the late 1940s
Eight years ago today, I headed north to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. It was a cold day, a full moon, lots of snow on the ground up north. None in Little Rhody.

It was a Sunday.

Sitting in my Dad's hospital room were his three sons, his wife, and one of his daughters-in-law. He was heavily sedated and hooked up to a machine.

Shortly after I arrived, Dad was unhooked from the machine. Shortly thereafter, Dad departed.

Yup.

It still hurts.

Miss you Dad.


28 comments:

  1. RIP Sarge. A good friend lost her dad too 14 years ago today.......thoughts and prayers.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris, it has been 56 years since my father departed the pattern. The pain is still there, and always will be. I think that I've told you that I was not only there, but my fellow Marines gave him a proper send off with full military honors. Be glad for the times you had, and rejoice that you had the opportunity to share those final moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I do Dave. I remember the good times, but on this day, I get a little melancholy.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  3. There are holes in your heart that will never heal...places at the table left vacant that can never be filled. Sic transit gloria mundi. RIP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But we remember and we honor them when we can.

      Delete
  4. I lost my dad one night in March of 1990. Got the call no one likes at 2am. Not being there when he died, not being able to see him one last time, seeing him only at his funeral, seems still to be so unreal. Especially since my wife saw him the night he died, he talked to her, and we were 200 miles away from him.

    I miss him. He finally was talking to me and seeing me as me and I lost him. 26 years later I still stop and cry quietly as I remember him.

    The feeling never goes away. It just becomes part of you.

    We're here for you. And don't forget, most importantly, your Missus is there for you. Feel free to use her shoulder, she'll feel better for it too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My dad passed away in January of '98. I have a photo of him in his WWII pinks and greens. He looks as young as your dad. Time does help, right up to when something seemingly insignificant brings it all back.

    My parents divorced when I was 8. I didn't get to know my dad until I lived at his place while going to college. By then he had long since re-married and I had a much younger half-brother. Years later he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and beat it. Later still, he lost his second wife to cancer. After he had passed away, we found out that his heart and lungs were in much worse shape than he had let on. I believe that after his bout with cancer, he was just done with hospitals, and made up his mind to ride the river come what may. That idea upset some, but I was OK with it.

    He was a widower who lived alone. On the day he passed away, he had not answered repeated phone calls from my half-brother, so a nearby friend was asked to check in on him. They found him on the floor in the hallway of his house. He had planned to drive up an visit us in late January to deliver late Christmas gifts for his grandkids. I held it together pretty well until I tried to explain to my kids why those gifts were so special.

    I am grateful for the time I got to spend with him and the time he got to spend with his grandkids. One time he came to visit us on his birthday. We had a local bakery bake up a boob cake. I have video of when we brought it out. The kids were literally rolling on the floor, and he was laughing so hard he tears in his eyes.

    Here's to our dad's, Sarge. None like 'em, none better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, RHT447.

      Great story too, stirred the dust it did.

      Delete
  6. In the early eighties Dad stood up to go change the TV channel and collapsed. We knew his health was failing and he was in the process of a disability retirement. But nothing the docs told us made us expect the suddenness of his passing.

    I was fortunate that my wife and I had swung by on a whim and visited him the same afternoon, and the long term object lesson was that if you can do it today, don't put it off until tomorrow.

    I used the flag that was over his coffin in my military retirement shadow box, and I am having some pollen problems now.

    There is healing, and it takes a very long time. I still feel a powerful connection when I use the tools that I inherited to build something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That connection must be very precious.

      And yes, don't wait, there may not be a next time.

      Delete
  7. Mine died in his sleep. I was 900 miles away. He was only 64. The hurt never leaves, just gets muted.

    ReplyDelete
  8. When mine died, it was a blessed release from cancer. Still hurts, still miss him-but that is good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When mine died, the snow was silently falling, falling...
      ......like now.

      Delete
    2. A bitter cold, moonlit night.

      Delete
  9. Darn the dust.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    ReplyDelete
  10. "You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry." So many questions left unasked because there's always "manana." But most of us wait too long and manana never comes..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't that the truth?

      Hug your loved ones, you never know what's around the next bend in the road.

      Delete
  11. I'm reminded of Dear Old Dad, gone these 32 years, whenever I face the prospect of repairing something around the house. I wish I'd paid better attention to Dad who, while a brilliant Bell Labs engineer and a WWII veteran B-29 radar tech, could fix just about anything. Whenever my mother (who kept an absolutely spotless household) would ask Dad to fix something, she'd always inquire what had been wrong, to which Dad would mischievously respond "Oh...it was just dirty". I wish I could relive those trips with Dad when repairing the tv and going to the electronics store to test the tubes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah. Of course, much of the equipment was a lot simpler back then. No computer chips, no software, just tubes and relays.

      (Sounds a lot like the radar system on the F-4D!)

      Delete
    2. Remember when supermarkets had tube testers, and you could check and replace suspect tubes when you went to the store?

      Delete
    3. Wow, and that was a while back!

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)