My dad was my best friend
My dad's last birthday
During my childhood I always looked up to my dad, I couldn't spend enough time with him. He made me feel safe, loved, accepted, happy, and brave. During my teenage years my dad and I had the typical father-daughter arguments but we never really drifted apart from each other. He always made me feel loved, I could talk to him about anything. His role as a father kept me from making some mistakes in life, I didn't turn to drugs and men for fulfillment. As an adult my dad once again was my best friend. He gave me sound advice, stood by my side when I made mistakes, helped me find humor in most situations, and always told me the truth. We were very close prior to his cancer diagnosis. He lived 3 years after being diagnosed with cancer, my world stopped on a dime the day he was first diagnosed. My "little buddy" as I called him was now a cancer patient, not just my dad. During the 3 years my dad and I talked about his diagnosis, the treatment options, and when he decided to end the treatments what his final wishes were. He had 3 wishes: 1. To stay at home with my mom. 2. To die peacefully, with no painful suffering or dramatic "end". 3. To have me by his side if at all possible. On 11/09/2007 my dad quietly passed away in my arms, I was alone with him. The morning that he died I went to visit him at his home where he and my mother were living. When I got ready to leave for nursing school I told him I was leaving for awhile but that I would be back after school. He asked me "when will you be back", I told him "by 4 pm at the latest, I will try to come sooner". My dad put his right hand on my left shoulder, looked me square in the eyes and said "I'll wait for you". That afternoon I arrived at my parents house at 3:50 p.m. I sat with my dad in a quiet room, he held my hand as he sat in his favorite chair. We sat for what seemed like only minutes. He then said "let's go". He stood up by himself, which he hadn't done in weeks, and began walking with his walker. Suddenly his body could not hold him up, I tried my hardest to get him to his bed but I couldn't hold him up any longer. I gently eased him to the floor, making sure to not bump his head or injure him in anyway. I sat on the floor holding my father in my arms, in my heart I knew that he would soon pass away. As I held my father I thanked him for adopting me and for being so proud of me. I told him that his love and support made me the person that he became so proud of. I then said the Our Father and Hail of Mary out loud to my father. Lastly I sang "How Great Thou Art". Then there was a moment when my father laid in my arms and his breathing became very relaxed. I told my dad "whenever you're ready". He looked up at me, picked his up and looked me square in the eyes once again and mouthed "I love you". He then leaned back into my arms and quietly and peacefully passed away. I knew that he was terminal, that he was a hospice patient, and that he would eventually be passing away. However, the moment that I realized he had died in my arms something strange took over me. I couldn't leave him, I sat on the floor and held him in my arms. His body was warm, he felt like he was taking a nap. Suddenly his body become ice cold, our priest said that is when my father's spirit left and went to heaven. I still miss him, my dreams of him are still vivid but further apart. I wake up from the very realistic dreams and can feel the part of my shoulder where my dad touched me in the dreams. I find the dreams comforting, I wish they were more frequent. Nobody who has not lost their parent seems to understand that a grown woman can feel like a little girl who lost her dad. Since that day I have made significant accomplishments in my life, but inside I know that I will never be the same. There are days when the hurt and loneliness feel like it did at the time of my father's death.I lost my best friend, my hero. May he rest in peace.