The last time I saw him, he walked me down the aisle...
(St. Petersburg, Florida)
My dad died July 8th, 2012 while mowing the grass in the front yard. A nurse happened to be driving by and immediately started CPR when she saw him go down. She yelled for help and the man who lived next door happened to be a doctor. He lived down the street from a hospital and an ambulance was there in minutes. There was still nothing they could do. It was most likely a sudden pulmonary embolism. He also had heart disease, which I didn't know about.
I'm 24. My dad and I have had some rough years. Right after I moved to college at 17, my parents got divorced. It was a really bitter, nasty divorce, and only my mom wanted it. I tried not to be angry at her, because my dad had a lot of faults that would've caused someone not to stay. Right after that I was raped and got pregnant, then had a miscarriage. In my grief I had no comfort, because my family was all tied up in anger and partisanship in the divorce. I moved home for a while to take care of my dad anyway. He never did anything for himself. Didn't know how to wash clothes, pay bills, nothing. I tried to teach him, but I ended up doing it all just like my mom did. Then a new woman showed up and convinced my dad I was stealing things from the house to give to my mom. The locks were changed.
I went back to college, and we slowly began talking more and more as the years went by. I was never allowed back in the house, and I always blamed that on the divorce, but as time went by and our relationship got better, I thought maybe the place was a total mess and he was embarrased. When I found out all of the rest of the family had been kept away from there too for 6 years, I knew something was up. I would see the show hoarders and have that feeling in my gut. But time went by...I moved to Germany, and saw him even less. I came back to the states last year and got married, and my dad was never more proud. He walked me down the aisle, and that was the last time I saw him.
After getting the fateful phone call, my husband and I jumped on a plane and came back. My dad had no will, so all decisions and property were now mine. It was so overwhelming.
It got worse. I was finally able to go back to my childhood home...the house I'd been kept away from for 7 years. My suspicion of trash everywhere was confirmed, but the shocking thing was that none of it was his. His girlfriend, who in 7 years had never wanted to be around any of our family and was a complete stranger, was a hoarder...and that was why I was kept away. It's hard not to be angry. I had one week in the states to handle everything, and most of it had to be spent trying to get through the ceiling high piles of books and clothes to try to find meaningful items of his to take from the house. When my mom left, the house was almost paid off...now all the equity had been drained, and I was forced to take what I could and let the house go back to the bank. The home I longed to go back to all these years was taken from me for good, along with my dad. She put up a fight when we tried to move anything, and then she didn't even come to his memorial service.
My dad had his faults. Maybe he was lazy, and never took care of anything, but he was the most loving sensitive person ever. He told me he loved me every chance he got. He was known all around the city as a funny, jolly person. Always telling jokes, and I told his favorite joke at his memorial.
I miss him so much. There is just so much to say.