Eight years ago today my dad died. He was not my biological father but I loved him just the same. He raised me from the time I was about 2 years old.
I think of him all the time but most of the time I can ignore the sadness. I used to have dreams that he wasn’t really dead, that he would come back into our lives but that he couldn’t remember much of anything. I never understood where he had been but I was glad to have him back and be able to hug him. Then I’d wake up and realize I would never see him again. I don’t have those dreams anymore.
I will never forget the call I received from my 15 year old sister that day saying that the ambulance was there and they were taking him to the hospital. I told her not to worry, that it would be ok. I felt so bad for her and wanted to make her feel better. Little did I know he was already dead. I feel guilty for ever telling her that it would be ok.
I had just seen him the day before. He wasn’t feeling well but everyone thought it was just a cold or the flu. I saw him for a minute that day when he came down to the kitchen in his robe. I told him hi and that I hoped he felt better soon. I hope I told him I loved him but I don’t remember.
My mom was out grocery shopping and my sister was at home with my dad. When my mom got home and found him, he was dead. My poor sister had no idea anything out of the ordinary was happening upstairs. He had no major health problems – it was completely unexpected.
He was 49 years old.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that I never got to say goodbye. What I wouldn’t give to be able to give him one last hug. He loved kids and would have made an absolutely wonderful grandfather.
He used to sing to my sisters and I when we were little. One of the songs I remember the most is “Sweet Ba.by James” by James Tay.lor. I sang that song at his memorial service. Whenever I think of him it pops into my head. Singing it or humming it is my way of remembering him without having to talk about him. Sometimes the words sound a little garbled.
As much as I miss him and feel sad that he’s not here, most of my sadness is for my mom and my sisters. It’s just not fair that they had to lose their father, that she had to lose the love of her life. I wish I could bring him back for them – even if I could still never see him again.
Today my sister and I took the day off from our jobs to hang out together and remember him. We didn’t talk about him much but we baked bread and congo bars (he was a baker and always the cook in our family) and celebrated his memory.
I love you dad.