Dad passed away late last night at 11:15 pm after being very sick all day and lapsing into a coma for 2 hours before his death. He was in a hospice residence and was well cared for.
Before you think that second photo is a bit silly, let me just say, that was dad. He was quick-witted and funny almost all the time. Don't get me wrong, he was serious when it counted; in his love for us children, in his trust in the Lord.
Just last week when I called my step mother to check on dad I told her he would probably go out with a joke. My brother called this morning and told me that Joyce (our step mother) said that dad kept his sense of humor up to the end.
In that first photo we both look so serious, what really happened was a photographer that kept forgetting to tell us all to "say cheese". In the second, I don't recall what dad was saying to me but that is just a classic "dad moment", him saying something to make me laugh.
When I saw him in January one of the first things he said to me (through a drugged haze) was "Did you drive all the way up here?" I said, "Sure I did!" and he replied, "And you didn't kill anybody?".
My brother told me that while he was visiting last week there were times that they weren't sure that dad was "with them" and at one of those moments my step mother leaned over and asked dad, "Do you know who I am?" and dad's reply was "Rumplestiltskin?".
What a guy. I've never known anyone smarter...he was a whiz no matter what he was doing. He seemed to know the answers to everything. You couldn't win a brain-based game (like Trivial Pursuit or Boggle) against him if you had Einstein on your team. He was strong. Just 3 years ago he came to visit and we all left a particular restaurant about a mile away from my house at the same time. I took off walking pushing a stroller and he and Joyce and a couple of my kids went in his Suburban (dad always had a Suburban). I got to the park we were meeting at near my home and everyone but dad was there. They let me know he went to catch up with me. Several minutes later, there he was, RUNNING in our direction. He had run nearly the whole way and proceeded to tell me about a marathon he had been in when I was younger that I didn't remember.
I could go on and on...I am so heartbroken I can't even relate it now.
Yes, he is not suffering, yes, he is with our Lord. I just wish it hadn't happened this soon.
One thing we agreed on when I saw him last was this; when you think to yourself "I have time" just remember...you don't know if you do. Carpe diem and all that.
For any of my dear friends reading this that got my email early this morning with the time of death wrong-please forgive me-my mom is a dear but often gets "details" mixed up. My brother called this morning and gave me all the particulars.