My dad past away December of 2020 of colon cancer. He struggled for months before they found the cancer and when they did, the prognosis was the worse news.
A few days, weeks or a month was what they gave him.
My dad was always the strong man and the provider. He took care of us and made sure we were set. Seeing him lifeless and in pain the last month of his life was heart shattering.
The night he died he was struggling to breathe and couldn’t keep consciousness long enough to hold a conversation. He must have mustered the strength somehow but his last words he spoke to me I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
I was sitting next to his bed in the living room and the normal quiet of the tv was replaced with family chatter. I had seen loved ones that I hadn’t seen in years. The shitty situation brought us all together.
My dad motioned for me to come closer to him and when I bent down to listen for his words I was greeted by his lips pressed on my cheek and the words, “I love you sissy”.
This was something he always called me and it holds a special place in my heart. The name has a fondness to it that doesn’t come close to feeling that way when someone else — like my mom — speaks it. Not that I don’t love my mom, but I’ll always be my dad’s little girl.
The call came after midnight. My aunt Cindy — my mother’s sister — called and said, “You should probably get here”.
So I sped to my parent’s house and saw the most horrid thing anyone could ever imagine: my father’s lifeless body in the living room of my childhood home.
The realization hit me like a tidal wave. I felt so helpless, so confused. How could this happen?
I remember his eyes open slightly, which made everyone — my brother Shane, my mother, and my aunt Cindy– very uncomfortable and my brother had to cover my dad’s face with a sheet to even walk in the house. I understand how gruesome that might sound, but in that moment, I felt so numb and so lost. I stared at my father’s gaping mouth with his lips spread and his no breathing mouth and I felt powerless. I felt like my world was crashing.
My father was a great man and he always did what he thought was best. I’ll always remember that last words he spoke to me and I will hold them in my heart until the day I meet him again.
Wherever he is I hope he is in peace and with his family. His mother and father he lost too soon, and his sister Mary who died by the hands of a neglectful nurse, and his brothers who will be waiting for him to wrestle and hunt. I hope wherever he is he is happy and free.