My dad was 66 years old when he passed away suddenly from an unexplained infection that basically shut his body down in a matter of 2 weeks. I remember he called me on a Friday evening to provide me with his usual itinerary for his yearly trip from Florida to Jersey to stay with me for the summer as he has always done. The following morning, I was awakened at 6 a.m. by me cell phone, and seeing my dad's number come up, I immediately thought, he got antsy and decided to hop in his truck and drive up today. Instead it was an EMT telling me they were rushing my father to the hospital, he was in severe pain and distress. I spent my Saturday morning on the phone with doctors in Florida making medical decisions for my father as his vitals were dropping by the hour. While I was on the telephone standby, my brothers were making travel arrangements to fly out that day to be there by my father’s side when he came out of emergency surgery. The next two weeks was constant touch and go as his vitals would drop, then go back up. I flew down to Florida within the next week with the hope that I was going to pull my father out of the hospital and bring him to Jersey so I could nurse him back to health. Instead, we were faced with the inevitable decision to take my poor dad off life support after 14 days of his body trying to fight this raging infection which took his life.
It was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life and my only saving grace was that my dad had discussed his preferences with me many times over the years and I had my siblings with me at the time. We were all there at his bedside and were able to say “Goodbye and I love you”! I do not know how I would have gotten through such a difficult time without the love and support of my entire family.
My father was not a man of many words, but through his actions he always showed how much he loved us all. His 6 children and 15 grandchildren were his wealth. I miss the daily phone calls I used to have with him after work, the summers he spent with me and the father/daughter motorcycle rides on the weekends. I wish I took more time off to spend with him, I wish I visited him in Florida more often than I did, but I do cherish the time we did spend together. It’s so hard to say goodbye to someone you love, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding your loss. It is important to cherish the moments you have with the people you love. If anything…that is what losing my dad has taught me. Even after he was gone, he still managed to teach me another lesson. You will forever be in my heart Poppy Florida, I love you so much!
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