From the point of Thanksgiving until December 1 life spun in circles. I didn’t see Al in this time frame. In fact I didn’t see anyone. I worked my job and when I wasn’t there I was with Dad.
Dad and I had quite a few talks about things kids don’t usually discuss with their parents, but Dad knew he was dying. He talked to me about Al and he discussed his personal will with me.
We didn’t do anything when I was with him. I talked and he was quiet. I gave medications and the only time he would eat is when I brought him egg drop soup. His sister dropped by more often. She and B would spend time chatting and I stayed by my Dad’s side.
On December 1, Dad was in so much pain. He couldn’t sit still. I was constantly changing him from the chair to the bed. There wasn’t a position that was remotely comfortable for him.
He finally laid down on the bed. I didn’t even think for one second if it looked bad or not. I laid down on the bed beside him and placed his hand in mine. He quieted down and for about fifteen minutes we lay there with me telling him how much I loved him.
His eyes were closed but I knew he could hear my words. Then he opened his eyes and they became wide and then they closed and he took his last breath. Oh Lord, I will never forget that moment and five years later, I still re-live that moment over and over.
I got off the bed and went to tell his sister and B that he had passed. They had not been in the room with Dad and me. They were in the bedroom across the hall chatting. When I told them they both said,”really?”
They got up and went to where he was and told him they loved him. I never felt so alone as I did at that moment. It was up to me to call the funeral home. I made that dreaded call and went outside and sat in the swing and smoked. Crows filled the trees. Their chatter was so loud and when I looked up at the trees they were black in color from so many birds.
As quickly as they had come, they left. The funeral home came and I could not go inside. I stayed out until Dad was removed from the home. I was so thankful to the parlor as they helped me decide things. Who was there to call was one thing.
Dad’s sister’s husband, my uncle volunteered to tell Al and our half-sister. While the attendant and me were making decisions I don’t know what happened to B and the sister, but suddenly they appeared with Dad’s wallet and they had emptied it.
I was in too much pain to notice or think twice about what they had been up to. I didn’t even mind that Uncle was going to tell my siblings. The dust settles though and you learn of what was happening around you once your mind becomes clear.
Considering Al is disabled with mental challenges I would have made the effort to go to him in person and tell him the sad news about Dad, but instead the Uncle called Al. This had to be the coldest move ever. I can only imagine how Al felt getting a phone call stating, your Dad is dead.
Through the years of caring for Al he has told me how awful he felt. He didn’t know what to do. My heart still aches at the crappy way in which he was dealt the news. What was worse or just as bad as that the month prior to Dad’s death Al and our half-sister were not allowed in B’s house. Neither of my siblings were given the chance to say goodbye or settle any last thoughts with him.
I try real hard not to dwell on this topic today as the pain is instantly resurfaced and I find myself becoming depressed for a few days. That afternoon of his death I went to the funeral home and tried to make plans with the attendant. My Uncle kept trying to take over and make the decisions. Finally the owner of the home asked my Uncle to please remain quiet. It was time for the eldest child to take care of matters.
I can remember the looks on their faces as this task was taken out of their hands. They were not very happy. I did my job. I let the owner walk me through the steps. I went to my daughter’s home for a few days.
I wish today that I had handled things differently. All I can think of was my brain was fogged. I was moving out of habit but not thinking. Poor Al and the sister didn’t have me around or my support. I am so ashamed of not being there for them. I was being led around hand over hand and questioned nothing.
The funeral came and the burial was over. I was made Executor over the estate and had plenty of work to do with this. I checked in on Al daily. I saw our half-sister much more often.
One week after we had buried Dad, I received a phone call from Al’s family doctor. He was letting me know that Al had left his job and driven himself to the doctor. Al was having a heart attack.
Up to that point my mind was on the continuing path of how life was before Dad’s death. I was going to get Al an apartment where disabled adults lived. He would continue with his job and routine that he was used to.
This caused a knife into a bubble effect. Our lives changed at that moment and never went back. We were creating a new path in life, with gravel instead of paved. Big pot holes and rather large bumps.