My father passed away ten years ago yesterday. I’m not much of a talker. I’m a writer by nature. I’m a bit random for a blogger. But I can write.
It’s how I’ve kept my sanity.
F is for Forgetting.
Forgetting the shake in the voice on the phone as I was told my dad was sick and going to the hospital, forgetting the frantic phone calls to my mother and brother trying to figure out what was happening, why in the world my dad would go to the hospital over being sick when he would barely go to the doctor for a broken bone.
Forgetting my sister-in-law’s panic as she realized I had no idea and had to break the news that he had been taken by ambulance and that he wasn’t breathing and had no heartbeat.
Forgetting the annoyance on the desk clerk’s face when I rushed in asking where he was and she said she had never heard of that patient and I needed to calm down.
I didn’t realize I’d beat the ambulance there since I was closer. I waited outside.
Forgetting them pulling my dad out of the ambulance, breathing bag over his face so I couldn’t really see it, but oh god, his arm. His arm was just hanging off the gurney and he would never do that.
Forgetting running back inside and flipping off the desk clerk who insisted that I WAIT and running to the back, yanking open curtains until I found them. Shirt cut open, cuts in his skin as they did I don’t even know what, he didn’t look right, they were shocking him and prodding him.
Mom. Where’s Mom?
Running back to the waiting room and taking her back to him, but they stopped us and had us go into a room to wait.
It was too quiet. There were too many tears and too much silence and nobody with any answers. Other people were coming and we had more to call to get Dad’s shift taking care of grandma covered.
Forgetting the doctor coming in and telling us what we already knew but didn’t want to admit and the cheerful nurse coming in right behind him to ask if we’d ever given organ donation a thought and how my dad would’ve felt about it.
Forget the itch under my skin to leave, forget the hugs and the crying and the keening noise I didn’t realize I was making as I cried.
Forget going outside. Forget how beautiful the day was, sun shining and birds singing. Forget how traitorous that was.
Forget waiting as his brothers and sisters came, breaking the news to them. Forget the disbelief, the grief.
Forget going back inside.
Forget the hospital letting us see his body, forget the tilt of his head and the way his mouth was just slightly open. Like it was when he snored. The way mom ran her hand down the side of his face, kissed his forehead.
Forget the ride to her house. It didn’t matter where we were. My mouth would still taste like pennies and my hands, I didn’t know what to with them.
Forget all of it.
I survived, even if pieces of me didn’t.