Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stay Out Of The Sun - A Father's Day Tribute

Father's Day is a bittersweet holiday for me as I'm sure it is for many people who's Father may have passed away too soon.  My Dad died December 22, 2004It seems like yesterday.

He died of heart disease and for the last five days of his life my family and I held on to every last hope that some miracle would pull his sick heart through.  While we waited in silent agony in the small, windowless ICU waiting room, I retained each detail as if these memories would somehow hold me closer to him.  From the empty magazine rack on the coffee table, to the off centered pictures on the wall, and the standard issue clock eternally pointing to ten minutes past one - these things were no comfort but instead added a tragic sense of doom to an already dismal situation. 

When the Code Blue alert was announced, my oldest sister and I heard it over the rest of our family chattering.  Our eyes met and we knew.  Fuck. That was it.  He was gone.

It's a truly surreal situation when you're called in to say, "good bye" to someone who's already gone.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I said good-bye to him a few hours earlier when he was alive.  I don't know if I'd do it again.  I touched his arm when it was warm and it felt like Dad's arm.  Later, after he had left - there was no point.  

This is intense and I'm crying.  This is not how I want to remember my Dad on Father's Day.  So, without further ado, I'm going to write something that's going to make me laugh. 

One Saturday night I came home with hickeys on my neck.  I had totally forgotten about them and wore my hair up next morning.  As I was passing Dad in the garage he asked me what was on my neck.  Knowing full well that he knew, I smiled and said it was a "sunburn".  Without missing a beat he responded, "Stay out of the sun!" 

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.  I love you, Dad.


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