Sunday was Easter and our plans were to spend the day with my parents and sister. Then my mom called to tell me that they had taken my Dad to the hospital. He's been in the hospital a few times already this year, it's a call I'm honestly used to getting. I dread answering the phone anytime my mom pops up on the caller ID, because my Dad usually calls for anything else.
But the call was a little different. My Mom usually sounds fine, if not a little exasperated (because he'd always wait and suffer before admitting to her he was in pain). But she sounded upset. And that bothered me.
We spent Easter at home by ourselves. I was bummed. I hated that my Dad was in the hospital again and genuinely worried.
Monday, I went to work. My sister let me know that she was going to go see my Dad after work, and she talked to my Mom and had decided Mom must have just been really tired on Sunday. She didn't act like this was any different than any other time he'd been in the hospital and that he'd be home in no time.
So, after work and getting Bill and the girls situated for an evening without me, I headed out to see my Dad. I expected to walk in and see him sitting up in bed, tired but ready to just get out of there, like normal. I was literally shocked when I came in. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, hunched over the tray table panting for breath. I looked at my Mom and she was acting like it was nothing. That was the only way he could breathe. He couldn't lay back without hyperventilating. It freaked me out, but I kept my composure for their sake. I had never seen him like that. Never in ask the times I've seen him in a hospital bed.
He had a kidney and bladder ultrasound while I was there. They had already determined that his kidneys were shutting down. He's had congestive heart failure, so they were trying to control the fluid he was retaining, but it wasn't working. They weren't exactly sure why he was having so much trouble breathing. My sister and I suspected that it was more of a panic attack sort of thing. He was in so much pain, and so scared of dying that he couldn't breathe.
My Mom admitted that it was just a matter of time, that they'd done everything they could, but she really believed, and had us believing, that they'd fix him up so he could go home and he'd probably be on dialysis. He'd go home. Part of me felt like she was wrong, but part of me wanted to believe that. I went home and prayed he would get relief.
At 3:30am, my phone rang. My Daddy was gone. He had sat up on the edge of his bed to try to catch his breath and had a massive coronary. They couldn't revive him.
He's been sick for years. He had an impressive collection of stents in his arteries. This was a day we knew would inevitably come sooner than later. But there's no way to prepare for how much it hurts.
I adore my Daddy. He was genuinely the best guy you could know. EVERYONE loved him. A gentle giant, but you knew you didn't want to test that gentle part. Funny. He was such a smart ass. He gave the best hugs. He would give you the shirt off of his back, even if it was the only shirt he owned. He loved to tease people and if there was a baby in the room, it was magnetically drawn to him.
Every time I talked to him on the phone, I'd ask, "what are you doing? " and his reply was always, "I'm talking to you. "
I don't want to go through the next 2 days.
I want my Daddy.