My father died last night. He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer only a few days before. He went home and died surrounded by one of his brothers, my step mother, my step brother, my half sister and my sister. He is at peace.
I am sad. I spent a large portion of last night trying to figure out if I was sad because I had lost my father which is natural of course or sad because my father and I were never close. He was a man who did not show emotion much. He was raised not to like many men of his generation. I can only remember three emotional conversations we ever had. The first was when my parents were divorcing and he told me in tears how he would always be there for me. The second was when, some twenty years later, again in tears (both of us) when he attempted to explain why he had not. And the third was this last Thursday night.
I was in Wisconsin with my friend, Pam. It was a beautiful evening and we were at her youngest daughter's softball game. I had tried to call Dad earlier and my cell phone would say "Call Failed". I almost didn't try again but gave it one last shot. And the call went through. He appeared accepting of his death. I told him where I was and how I had to get home before I could come to visit or even make arrangements. We both felt so sure he had more time. He told me he would not go anywhere until I came. Sometimes we can't keep promises. We told each other we loved each other and I know he always has.
So, I am sad and crying as I type this. I am sad for all the years he and I missed as our last conversation was one of the best we ever had and sad that it had to take his dying for us to have that.
I need to write this for me. Goodbye Dad.