September 17th, 2008

handholding

In Memorium

At around 9:15 am this morning, I sat at my father's hospital bedside as he drew his last breaths. He waited for my mom and I to brave I-290 traffic at 8 am this morning. Not more than 10 minutes after we arrived, he passed away with the two women he loved the most to either side of him. The pain he sustained a few days prior was a hemorrhage that filled his abdominal cavity with blood. Since he was on blood thinners for the clots in his lungs, they could do nothing for it, not even surgery. It was the first time for me to see death first hand and it couldn't have been more agonizing. It was more than heartbreaking to see the man that used to hold me with one strong arm just slowly stop breathing. We said we loved him, over and over again. Before his breathing slowed, he nodded to us that he knew we were there. But he's at peace now, he's with his mother and father now. No more cancer to take away his dignity, his strength, his pride.

He was nothing less than the strongest, bravest, most hearty man I've ever known. He gave me nearly 26 years of his love as a father and almost 43 years of a wonderful, albiet a little spoiled, marriage to my mother. He will be missed beyond words. Everything I see on the ride home reminds me of him. The very fact that he'll never drive his car again, that he'll never sit in his den chair behind me ever again, that we'll never get to watch a Notre Dame football game together again even though I hated football. I won't be able to drive past a construction zone without remembering he was so eager to find out what they were building, I'll never get to see those beautiful blue eyes ever again. What kills me the most is that, as much as I made fun of it, I'll never get to hear that organ play those same few songs over and over again, the ones I grew up listening to, that I could whistle in my sleep but still never know the name of. It burns deep into my soul, the kind that feels like it'll never go away.

Forgive me if I'm not picking up phone calls, but I doubt anyone wants to hear me sob. I appreciate that you all want to help and offer your ear to me and you have no idea how much that means to me. Texts are fine, I'll respond to them without a doubt, it's about the only thing I can do right now.

If anyone wishes to come to the wake, it will be at the Knollcrest Funeral Home in Lombard, Illinois on Friday with a mass on Saturday at 9:30 at Ascension of Our Lord Church. As well as some sort of luncheon. We're not sure of that right now, but I will post with more details as they become available.
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