It been almost a year since I last talked to my dad. He was preparing to have heart surgery; a valve replacement. His heart valve had been damaged by the kidney dialysis. His kidneys were damaged by the chemotherapy. He needed chemotherapy because of the lymphoma caused by the interferon treatment. He was given interferon to treat the Hepatitis C that he contracted from a military vaccine protocol during the Vietnam War.
He had to wait because they had built a new hospital and were in the middle of moving everything to the new hospital. He was going to be the first heart surgery at the new hospital. It was going to be reported on the news. It was scheduled for Friday.
He called to get my social security number. He was filling out his beneficiary paperwork in case something happened to him. He told me that we should put an addition on our house because that would be the easiest way to deal with our sudden lack of space. He told me he loved me. I told him I loved him too. We said, "Goodbye."
I never spoke to him again. My sister called on Monday to tell me that he had passed away at home in his comfy chair.
I have thought of him many times during the past year. I have often thought of something I wanted to ask him; something about my childhood, our my parent's marriage, or his childhood, and then I realize that I can't just call him for the answer. And that now I'll never know the answer (this side of heaven anyways).
Sometimes I have dreams about him. Usually he's healthy and we're together visiting or traveling or something. But tonight, I dreamed he was very ill. We were all together at some kind of church service. He was in his comfy chair. My sister and I were with him and he told me to find my brother. He wanted us all together to say his "goodbyes." My brother was in the basement playing video games with my boys. My three little girls were sleeping.
And then Amanda was awake and so was I. I never got a chance to say "goodbye." So, here I am thinking about him. One year later.
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5 years ago