So today was Sunday, meaning Al and I enjoying a relaxing morning together. We both had chores to do before the day was done. He was given some wifi headphones last night, and because he mostly works in one room with Alexa playing music, he set them up on my phone which I listen to music with while cooking or cleaning.
Of course I was listening to 80s music and a song came on I haven’t heard in a very long time. “Always,” by Bon Jovi. There is a line in this song I never realized I love and that I say repeatedly. The night my father died I was standing outside the window of their apartment because I couldn’t get in without the clicker.
I watched and heard the paramedics ask his name, heard Dad say it, and then go limp. They took him to the ground and within moments placed paddles on his chest and revived him. He began screaming in pain. My mother let me in the side door. They loaded him in the ambulance still crying out in pain and very confused. We told him we were there and would be at the hospital when they arrived.
We got there and were taken to a private waiting room. The doctor came in after awhile and explained he had another massive heart attack in the ambulance and arrived DOA. My first words after this life changing moment were ridiculous. I literally asked (OK, maybe I yelled) “Are you kidding me? Are you serious right now?” Not my finest moment.
About 7 hours before that moment at the window, shaking, crying and horrified, I was with daddy, mom and my kids, eating his favorite McDonald’s sundaes. My last words to my father while he was alive were, “I love you daddy, we’ll see you tomorrow,”
My last words to him as I kissed his forehead that horrible morning in the ER were, “I’ll love you forever and a day.”
I was clueless those words were in this song, but I knew they were in my heart. Daddy wasn’t perfect, nor did he pretend to be. There were two times in my life he hurt me with his words and actions, I was grown, but still knew he was my skin-on hero. Those two instances he was trying to protect me, guide me and scared for me. I didn’t take it that way, but as a parent of adult children, now I understand.
I’ll miss him everyday for the rest of my life. Truly hope my children and grandchildren will someday say the same of me. I’m not perfect, but I really do try to love all the best way I know how, forever and a day.