On June 18, 2005, my life changed drastically, not for the better or worse but changed. As I go on to tell you my story you’re going to wonder how I can’t say for the worse, but I hope by the end you will understand.
The day started out like any other day, got ready to go to work, and then had to stop by my dad’s girlfriend’s house to copy some things for my pre-school class. The phone then began to ring but I didn’t answer it, the answering machine then answered the call and the message began. Little did I know that this message would be the beginning of a change in my life. As I stood making copies, my dad’s voice spoke on the answering machine stating that he was having a stroke and needed help. I then answered told my dad I was on my way and left immediately. When I got to my father’s house I found him lying on the floor on the phone with 911. I then spoke with 911, waited for the ambulance, and tried to comfort and reassure my dad. The conversation that we were about to have next became both heart breaking and emotional.
As we waited for the ambulance to arrive I sat on the floor holding my Dad’s hand saying it’ll be ok Dad, there are coming and I’m here and I won’t leave you! My Dad then said with tears in his eyes “ I’m sorry honey, I love you but I’m afraid that I might have to go away this time.” “ I’m sorry, I’ll try real hard to stay but always remember how much I love you and how proud you’ve made me.” He finished as the ambulance and police arrived.
The ambulance then took my Dad to the hospital then medivacted him to another larger city whom then medivacted him to yet another larger hospital. Each place I spoke to my father briefly trying to be encouraging about the whole situation until the final hospital. My Dad was taken into emergency surgery which took 8 hours or so. After that, he never woke, he never reached for my hand, or ever spoke again. My father made it through the surgery amazingly but never recovered. The saddest part was this had been the only time I could ever remember my Dad saying he was proud of me or loved me. Don’t get me wrong everyone always told me….”Aw, you know your Dad loves you” but believe me it’s not the same as hearing it yourself.
I guess the reason I decided to write this was to show parents, of any age, that your child is never to old to hear you love them, that your proud of them, but don’t wait till it’s your last breath to say it too them. Enjoy your children and the joy of making those profound statements to them so you can see their reaction and embrace them. I wish my father had!