Today...my Dad died.
It is a devastating day, indeed.
Friday morning he had a massive stroke and he never regained consciousness. My family and I lived at the hospital all weekend. I personally slept in the hospital bed next to his on Saturday night. Five children, several of his 19 grandchildren and some daughters and sons in law were by his side for those three days. He was never alone up until he took his last breath at 12:15 this morning with my brother, Mike, by his side.
For those of you who have read my journals from the start - you know how close I am with my Dad. He was a wonderful, wonderful Father...and a great friend. After his first stroke (six months before my wedding!) he worked so hard - determined that he would walk me down the aisle. And he did. It was a great day. And I feel so grateful that he met my children. Gavin and his Pop have a special bond that is obvious to see.
And he and Brian always made each other laugh.
My Mother is doing as well as can be expected after losing the love of her life. They were married for 53 years. Their's was a great love story - and they were a wonderful model to their five children of a long, enduring partnership.
If I am consoled at all - it is knowing these things...
The stroke was massive and quick. My Dad didn't know what hit him and had no time to process pain or fear. When we were told he would not survive this, he was quickly put on Hospice care and they did a wonderful job of keeping him comfortable so he did not suffer. For that...all of us are very grateful.
My Dad is free. He is no longer in bondage to the left sided paralysis that kept him from playing sports and walking and playing with his grandchildren. If I know my Dad, he is playing basketball with his brothers and his nephew right now in Heaven.
And one of my biggest comforts? Pop and Darcy Claire will be together - and he can hold her in his arms until I meet them there.
The world just got a lot less interesting...funny...smart...good looking...and compassionate.
My world feels shattered. I can't believe he is gone.
I love you, Dad. With all my heart.
For anyone wanting to attend the services, including friends of my siblings and me, here are the arrangements:
This Thursday we will hold a viewing at Epiphany of Our Lord Church from 6-8pm
Friday there will be another viewing at Epiphany from 9:30-11am with a funeral mass at 11. Ironically, on Veteran's Day.
As a retired Navy Captain, my Dad chose to be buried at Washington Crossing National Cemetery. A full military funeral for this very deserving Veteran will be held at 9:30 am on Saturday morning, November 12th.