Lost my dad at 2 1/2 weeks
When my mom found out she was pregnant with me my father was the most ecstatic person; going around telling everyone he is going to be a dad. When my parents would go to the doctor the doctor kept telling my dad that I had the heartbeat of a boy. My dad said he would be happy if it was a boy, but wanted a girl so he could put the little things in my hair, aka barrettes. The house that my parents lived in was an old Victorian house that needed much work. The first room that he said he needed to redo was my room because it “had to be perfect for his child.” He made sure there were no cracks or paint issues in the room. On the night of November 16th 1992, my mom’s due date, he bet my mom $1 that little Jr. would be here my morning. At 12:30am on November 17th my mom went into labor and by 4:10am I was born and my father got his wish of a baby girl. My mom has told me stories of how he went through four rolls of film while in the hospital. Now fast forwarding 2 ½ weeks. On the morning of December 5th my father got up to go to work. My father and uncle owned and operated a ferry boat business in town. As my father went to walk out the door my mother said,
“Paul be careful,”
he replied, “Ya ya ya.”,
“No, Paul, I mean it”
Later that morning around 11 a.m. my mother got a knock on the door from a woman saying that Paul has gone missing. My mother got in the car and headed down to the scene. There was search and rescue everywhere, with a press conference to be held later that afternoon.
My father was loading cars and 3 grain trucks on to the boat and trying to counteract the weight of the trucks. As they were about halfway across the river they began taking on water. My father began getting everyone out of their vehicles when the barge part of the ferry capsized. My father dove in after a middle aged grain truck driver and a passenger. What my father didn't know was that the grain truck driver had had a heart attack before hitting the water, so he was dead before he hit the water. My father died trying to save a life.
On the day of the worst day ever the town we lived in stopped. Dollar General and other stores of that nature were only opened to search and rescue workers. The local Methodist Church opened its doors to people so they could drop off food, diapers, etc.
Not many places in the United States will just stop what they are doing to help a family in need. Even though I have never heard my fathers voice, seen him walk, kiss my mother, or laugh, I know he was a great man just by his actions on that day. It doesn't help my cause some days that I look and act just like him.
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