Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The day my father died

Sunday was the worst night of my life.

I watched my father die.

He was so happy Saturday - chatting about Tiger Woods and the latest golf tournament.
He had been admitted to the hospital for a small shower of clots to the lungs, but after treatment he would return Monday to Mom at Zionsville.

Sunday evening I dropped by to say good-night.
I didn't know I'd be saying good-bye.

He was fine when I got there - but a little dizzy.
In the next ten minutes he got short of breath and before I knew it the nurses were pushing his bed down to the ICU and he had stopped breathing.
Code, intubate, medicate.
But he never woke up again.

I called my family one by one - the hardest to call was Mom.

Sixty years of marriage and I had to tell her to come to the hospital in the middle of the night to say good-bye.

By 4AM we had been watching the green monitor over his head for hours as it beeped his life signs.
I had to go to work in a few hours.
And there was no more to do.

I kissed my Dad on the forehead and said good-bye.

Tom took me home.
Brother Nic called five minutes later and said he had passed.

My father was dead.

Monday was a blur.

Two hours of sleep and I went into work dazed.
I work at the lab my Dad founded 51 years ago.
Many of workers there knew and loved my Dad.

With their great support I made it through the day.

After work in a cloud I returned to Indy for family dinner cooked and served by my wonderful husband.

Surrounded by two brothers, my sister and Mom we recalled stories of Dad - his quirks, his foibles, his cars and his ping-pong. We cried.
We were all still stunned that tomorrow  we wouldn't hear his grumbly laugh and his old expression - "Grass!"

After dinner, exhausted, I had to return to New Castle to sleep.

Tired out of my mind I barely registered the phone call about our storage unit in New Castle.
Hit by the wind? Come right over?

By the way, that bike ride in the rain? Drowned my poor Droid.

So I was phoneless and needed sleep.

I sent KC to check the storage shed.
I got ready to collapse and sleep for the first good sleep in 48 hours.

KC called home.
"You'd better come over here."

Blurry - I drove the hundred yards across Main Street under stormy skies to the shed - OMG!
It was demolished!

(Forgive the daytime pics; we didn't take pics that night - I was too tired to hold a camera.)

By the lights of my Perdiddled Prius we could see the 15 intact buildings and where our building had been - rubbish!

Metal roofs ripped apart - walls crushed - our boxes of memories, papers, French books were scattered, soaked, ruined under the creaking remnants of the shed.

For an hour - maybe more - I helped KC crawl under the fallen roof to rescue a few of our belongings.

Finally, no longer able to see straight, I went home.

Dark kitchen - went to wash my hands.
What's in our sink?

A live bat.

Did this day really happen?
Was it real?

Could I wake up tomorrow and start over?
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