It was the month of June 1996. My dad was very sick in the hospital so my mother sent my younger brother and I to my cousins house for the week. It was a Saturday and I was more than ready to go home for the weekend. I missed my parents and I was anxious to see how my father was doing. My cousins drove us home later that afternoon. My mom had just brought my dad home from the hospital but she had to leave right away to go to work. My dad seemed to be doing great. He was in a very lively mood and was really happy to see us. There was a nurse staying with my dad to help him out with anything he needed. It was hard for him to walk because he was so weak. It hurt to see my father like this. I could remember a time not too long ago when we all used to go camping or fishing together. My dad could do everything a healthy person could do.
The nurse was very friendly. She talked to us about how my father was doing and she was very interested in the way we felt about things. She had a very warm heart.
Later that evening when my mom came home from work she didnt seem very happy. My father had been in and out of the hospital for a year. Usually when he came home it was a very happy time for us. This time was different. My mom sat down with my brother and I and told us that the doctors couldnt do anything else for him. He only had 6 months to live. I didnt want to believe what she was saying. It just didnt seem real to me. I could feel myself begin to cry, but I tried to hold it back. I didnt want mom to see me cry. She was already going through enough pain.
I decided to make the best of things and spend as much time with my dad as I could. Since it was summer time I didnt have school. I didnt go out with friends or go anywhere in fear of losing my father while I was gone. I wouldnt be able to forgive myself if I wasnt there with him. The nurse kept coming over to help with my father. I felt better when she was there. My mom worked a lot and I was always scared something was going to happen while she was away. It was early Tuesday morning and mom came in my room and woke me up. Your father isnt doing well this morning, come help me with him, mom said. It had only been three days since dad came home from the hospital. The nurse wasnt at our house that day so I was a little worried. Mom and I put a bunch of pillows under my fathers head to help prop him up some. He was having trouble breathing. He had taken a major downfall since he had come home from the hospital. There wasnt much we could do. He had told my mother he wanted to die at home, not in the hospital so we kept him home. We called the nurse but I guess we couldnt get in touch with her so they sent out a different nurse. She wasnt as nice as our regular nurse. The nurse said that Dad was in a coma.
Both Mom and the nurse said they didnt know if Dad was going to make it through the day. We all had a sinking feeling in our stomachs. Its the worst feeling in the world to know you are going to lose your father. All kinds of things are running through your head. You wonder what he is feeling. You wonder if he is scared or in pain. You wonder what he is thinking about. Mom told me I should talk to Dad. The nurse said that even though he is in a coma he could still hear us. I wanted to talk to my dad and tell him I loved him and that everything was going to be ok. I was scared though. I dont know why I was so scared. I was young and I guess I was in denial. I thought that if I didnt say anything that maybe I wouldnt lose him. I know it doesnt make much sense. I guess I just thought that maybe he wouldnt go away since not everyone had gotten a chance to say goodbye.
My mom called my grandparents. They came over right away. She also called my two older brothers Rob and Jeff. Rob lived 2 hours away in VA so it was going to take him awhile to get here.
It wasnt too long after we had called our family that my dad died. Its really hard seeing your own father die. I lost one of the most important people in my life. The doctors told us he had six months to live but it was only three days. I guess it kind of makes me mad. A few months later we moved away from our home in Maryland to a new home in West Virginia. It was hard leaving because we felt like we were leaving all of our memories behind. The memories will always be in our hearts though.