It’s been about two months since I last posted. I think of writing all the time and just haven’t had any opportunity. It’s been a crazy two months and a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
As you all know, my Dad went into a nursing home in June and was under the care of hospice. He had been declining steadily, becoming mostly non-verbal in the final few months, and he passed away on November 14th. I am grateful that I got to be with him in his final moments, thanks to the awesome nursing staff that called at 2:30 a.m. and said “come now”. His death was peaceful and gentle, and I am glad that he never appeared to be suffering.
To give you insight into who my Dad was, I share below my older brother’s Facebook post from that day. I couldn’t say what he said so perfectly.
It’s with a heavy heart I say goodbye to my Dad, who lost his fight with cancer early this morning. As my brother so correctly stated, Gus taught us everything we needed to know about life and treating others right, all before we left home, though I didn’t realize it until I was in my 40’s and didn’t thank him until I was in my 50s. Never one to say much, he would do anything for anyone, stranger or friend. Looking back, so much of who I am was due to his silent lead. Gus, I raise a can of Gibbons in toast and quote part of a poem I stumbled upon ages ago;
Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.
Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men
He truly was a kind, generous, hardworking man and he is greatly missed.
Since I last posted, the original sale of the family homestead fell through. This was very disappointing, as I very much wanted this woman to live in my parents’ home. I was very upset with the whole process and worried about now having to maintain the house over the winter, with the likelihood of a sale slim to none.
And then on November 30th, I got a call that we had an offer — cash deal, no inspections, no fuss… title search and close. Thank you, Lord! And so, today, I closed on the sale. I am dealing with so many different emotions right. I’m glad to have this responsibility off my shoulders, to not have to maintain and heat the house over the winter, and to be able to finalize my Dad’s estate. But it’s hard knowing that I will likely never set foot in my childhood home ever again.
I walked through the empty house one final time last night, said my last goodbye, and cried — sad for the people who are now gone from my life, scared for the realization that “we” are now the adults in the room, nostalgic for all the wonderful memories, and grateful for all the blessings bestowed on my life.
The holiday season has been bittersweet so far, with many wonderful times coupled with bouts of tears. I am missing my Mom all the more with Dad also now gone, and in some ways the world seems a bit lonelier.
I know I carry the memories in my heart and mind, so I can say those last goodbyes with peace and a few final tears.
IMDb: Last Goodbye (2004)