My dad, my hero, is gone...
by Shannon Morris
My dad was my hero. My dad could do anything and everything, literally. If something broke in the house, I called my dad. If I needed something put together or built, he was the guy. I have so many memories of him growing up building the deck, laying the brick porch, creating our science projects. As a kid he got down on his hands and knees and would give my 2 sisters and I horseback rides. He'd throw us up in the air and tickle us until we cried. When we had girlfriends sleep over he'd climb on the roof to scare us. He made the best pancakes.
My dad walked me down the aisle, and was at the hospital when my boys were born. I am grateful for that. My boys are 3 and 18 months old, and watching my dad wrestle with them the same way he wrestled with us brought a smile to my face, but I joked with my dad that he would not torment my kids the way he tormented us!!
My dad, as perfect as he was, did have one fault -his temper. He yelled loud when he was mad, and just about anytime he built something or put up a ceiling fan, something would go wrong and you'd hear it. As a quiet, mellow tempered woman, this drove me crazy.
My dad was so healthy and active. He loved his boat and jet skis. He was constantly doing something, rarely sitting. He took my boys for their first fishing experience this year, and planned on starting to teach them to water ski next summer. I knew my dad would be a HUGE influence on my kids, and he could teach them everything he knows. My dad couldn't wait. My dad raised 3 girls, so when he got his grandsons, he was so proud.
On October 28th, my invincible dad fell off a ladder and broke his back. We were told he would be paralyzed. For a week, my mom, sisters, and I were devastated. How could MY dad, as active as he is, live in a wheel chair??? On November 6th after a week in rehab, my dad was rushed to ER and they put in a breathing tube. We were told he was not going to make it, they could not find a blood pressure. By the next night he was still critical, but alive. I 100% believed he was going to come home!! I believed with all my heart that the scare happened to make us realize it didn't matter that he was in a wheel chair, at least he was coming home.
November 10, 2010 my dad died. He was 58 years old. I am 30. I was not ready to lose my dad. We aren't sure exactly what happened, the doctors never quite knew. But at the end they said he had gangrene in his intestines. They said there was nothing more they could do for him, so they stopped the medication and we stayed with him until his heart stopped. My dad was in so much pain. The picture of him laying there, and a tear coming down his cheek, I can't get that out of my mind.
This happens every day, but I can't believe it happened to us.
We didn't have time to say good bye. He couldn't talk to us because of the breathing tube. We did get a few hand squeezes though.
I have so much regret. I didn't tell him I loved him, appreciated him, and respected him enough. I took everything he did for me for granted. When he would lose his temper, I was a brat. I yelled at him and told him he was ridiculous. When we both calmed down he always came and gave me a hug and kiss. I hate that I acted like that.
My mom and dad started dating when my mom was 17 and my dad was 21. They have been married for 34 years. As bad as I hurt, I know my mom hurts 1000xs more.
My boys have helped tremendously. I get through my days, because I have to be strong for them. But at night, when they are asleep, I look at family pictures. I cry. I talk to him. I can't believe he is gone. I can't believe my boys are not going to grow up with the best Papa they could ever have had.
My oldest is 3. This Christmas is the first that he is actually going to know what is going on, and he is so excited. I am excited for him. Then I remember my dad won't be here, and I get a sickening feeling in my stomach, and I cry some more.