This week, one of The Mister’s high school friends’ dad passed away at 61…just like my dad. It happened suddenly…just like my dad. It’s amazing how the present can take you to the past so quickly.
I remember getting a message on my phone while I was getting a bagel (toasted with butter) for lunch. I didn’t notice the message until I was driving, so I just waited until I got back to my office. And that’s when I first knew something was wrong. Because the message was from a hospital in Jackson, MI and that’s where my dad lived.
“This is Nurse Susie and I’m looking for Dawn. Please give me a call when you receive this message.”
My stomach dropped. All sorts of horrible scenarios went through my head as to what had happened to my dad. None of them involved his death.
I called the nurse back and she asked my name and I told her. She asked if my dad was my dad and I said he was. She said that the ambulance had been called to his house the night before and that the doctors had tried really hard, but he didn’t make it.
I didn’t understand, so I asked her what she meant. She said again that “he didn’t make it.” I asked her if he was dead and she said yes. I asked her if this was some awful joke and she sounded offended as she said, “of course not.”
I thanked her for letting me know and hung up while she was telling me that she was sorry for my loss. I just stared at the phone.
Then I went to look for my boss because we had a meeting scheduled at that very moment. I saw her and told her that I wouldn’t make the meeting and fell out right there in the hallway. She took me back to my office and I blubbered what I’d just found out…that my daddy had been dead when I thought he was alive.
I called my brother and told him what the nurse had told me: that my dad called the ambulance and didn’t make it…that he had an aneurysm. Since I’m sure I was nonsensical when I talked to him, he asked for the nurse’s number so that he could find out more information.
But all I needed to know was that my dad was dead.
I still have my dad’s phone number programmed into my phone…I can’t bring myself to delete it.
So when we went to the visitation the other day and his wife and kids all said they couldn’t believe it because it was so sudden, all I could say was, “I understand and I’m so sorry.”
Those are the most true things that I’ve ever said because I understand all too well…and that’s why I’m so sorry.