It was 5 years ago today that we lost my dad. I remember waking up that Saturday morning and seeing his truck outside. He was supposed to have left early that day. He was going “yard sailing” and had to be out the door before dawn.
I was not an early riser. It was probably around 9 am… though the specifics are fuzzy. My 2 year old son had just woken up and I needed his diaper changed. He had climbed up on the changing table himself and I happened to look out the window that was next to the changing table. There was my dad’s truck. In the driveway. Not out driving around looking for treasures.
I felt a slight twinge of panic. My father had severe diabetes and his sugar levels were always wonky. I was hoping that he just chose to stay home because it was raining that day. I went downstairs looking for him and eventually found my way to his bedroom. I called to him multiple times, but he never answered. He never would again. I turned the corner and saw him. It was like something out of a movie. He was clearly gone. His mouth was open.. his eyes were open, but it was clear that he was not behind those eyes.
I ran to him. I checked to see if he was breathing. I shook him. I screamed… but I knew he was gone. There was no CPR. There was no call to EMS. Nothing was going to bring my father back. The man that had been there for me my entire life was gone. The man who used to hold me when I cried. The man who kissed my boo boos. The man who tucked me in. The man who made my dinners and gave me my tubbies.. and read me bedtime stories. The man who was always there to listen to me babble on during my childhood.. and even worse.. during my teen years. The man who I went to for all of my problems, and the man who was starting to come to me for his. He was gone. I was alone. I was scared, and 5 years later. I still am.
People talk about grief, but until you live through it you will never understand. For weeks I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I cried without even realizing. There is about 6 months of my life that I don’t remember. I carried on. I had to. I had my job. I had my son. I had my life that I had to live. My father died 5 years ago today, and I miss him every bit as much now as I did then.