Please be aware this is an extremely personal post. Writing always seems to be a bit of therapy….
On Sunday I went to my parents house to take pictures of my 3 year old cousin for Christmas cards. All the family was there. My dad was playing his Christmas music like every year and was getting ready to go watch his “Brownies” win a football game! We chatted for a minute about Kindles and tablets and how he wanted one with a webcam so he could skype with my little brother. It’s just like him to ask for a Christmas present with such a meaningful purpose. Since I was a little sick and he just finished getting over the flu we gave each other one of those side cheek kiss goodbye things, said I love you and he was out the door.
If I had known it’d be the last time I’d see my dad I would have taken a million pictures of him that day and given him a million hugs. Probably more.
But I had no idea… from day 1 of my little life I assumed he’d always be there to hold daddy’s little girl.
Monday came and I was thinking about what to get the boyfriend for Christmas and how fun all this season’s holiday parties were gonna be and whether or not to go see Skyfall. Thoughts that seem so incredibly insignificant now. The holiday, work, life as a whole completely erased from my mind the moment I got the phone call. 6:03 pm I heard my mom through sobs and terror yell the words “Daddy’s dead”. I could feel my heart drop to the floor and shatter. No shoes, phone on the floor, I ran for the door. The boyfriend drove as tears covered my contact lenses and I repeatedly mumbled “it’s not real”, maybe if I said it enough times it’d come true. My dad was a big sci-fi geek, maybe he figured out how to teleport….maybe it’s just not real.
Then my mind raced as to how. Was he in a car accident? That’s probably it, he’s only 56 and so healthy and active, it had to be some freak accident. But as we drove towards our family home I saw the 4 cop cars surrounding it and I knew he died at home. Did someone come rob us and kill my father…the malicious things toward a fictitious robber that ran through my head during that scenario need to never be uttered. But then I walked in the door and all my attention turned to my mother. The love of her life, 34 years of marriage, her everything was just stolen from her without warning.
Mind you, my parents are the fairy tale romance everyone aspires to. Talks all the time, kisses, I love yous, sentiments that are there every day, always. For me and my brother they set an unattainable standard for love. How do you live up to real life true love?
After holding her and crying together I finally asked how. “We don’t know.” My mom came home to find him at his desk already cold. The image of her heart breaking right there in his office has haunted my every thought since. It shouldn’t have been like that, it shouldn’t have been at all. But it did, and it could’ve been a heart attack, a blood clot, a stroke, so many things that we never saw coming.
There have been friends and family in and out of the house since Monday night. So many wet faces, so much disbelief, so much great sadness has fallen over the house that I have most of my memories with him in. Sitting at the table, drinking chocolate milk and listening to the music that was always coming from his office is one of my fondest ones. He had music for everything. Rock for cleaning, jazz for dinner, pop for when my mom had a favorite band of the moment, and sooo much Christmas music.
I go home now and it’s as if music doesn’t even exist. It’s died with him. But I hope every second and every half second that he’s getting to do all the things he loves somewhere… jamming out in a superman cape, maybe on the starship Enterprise and rooting for his Brownies. I hope he’s at peace and he doesn’t see us down here until we’re stronger. We miss him so terribly much and I don’t want his heart breaking too.
Daddy, I love you, wherever you are. I will always love you.