My heart has shattered in a million pieces and I am a myriad of emotions. It is my sincerest desire to communicate honestly, deeply and clearly what is on my heart and mind. It is so difficult to even structure a sentence but for some reason I feel compelled to write. Day after day I’ve intentionally avoided my laptop. Today it was as if there was a super magnet inside me drawing me to it. I realize I can’t stay away from it another second. Forgive me if I jump around a lot or make it difficult to follow along but you see
my father has died.
I wasn’t prepared for the phone call I received 19 days ago. It took me by complete surprise and it felt as if all the air was sucked out of me. NO NO NO NO!! How can this be? This CANNOT be happening! It’s not supposed to end this way between us. I’m just not ready. We’re not ready – there was more to come, right? I couldn’t think anymore and tried to suppress the tears forming in the corner of my eyes…
Was he really gone?
I was at home spending the evening with my husband, son, his girlfriend and my grandson. It was a beautiful night. We ate dinner together and had just settled into the living room to watch television and relax. A perfect way to unwind from the work week and usher in the weekend. I sat on the couch so grateful for the beautiful weather and my current company. I adore my family and cherish the time our adult children choose to spend with us. Friday is my favorite day of the week and I was content and at peace when my cell phone rang.
I looked down and saw that my cousin (more like a brother) was calling me. It wasn’t unusual for him to call so I walked into the kitchen and swiped the green button.
“Oh hey how are you?”
“What are you doing?” He said it in a kinda controlled and careful voice and immediately I knew something was up.
“Nothing, just hanging out at home tonight?” “Why?”
“Well, I just got off the phone with my mom. She just spoke to your mom and there’s something going on with your dad.”
Just then I heard my phone beep and I pulled it off my ear to see who was calling me. It was my mom. Our relationship was broken and virtually nonexistent. We hadn’t spoken in a while. In fact I saw her at my uncle’s funeral one month prior and she refused to even look in my direction. As much as I desired it – I knew she wasn’t calling to reconcile with me. My heart sank to my toes – in that moment it became crystal clear – I knew the reason for her call.
My dad was dead.
I vaguely remember ending the conversation with my cousin and my head was spinning. I walked out the front door and noticed it was dark outside and looked up at the moon. I unlocked my phone and dialed my mom’s number – it only rang once.
“Bita something is wrong with your dad.”
“What’s going on?”
“The police are here now. They are in the bathroom with your dad.”
“Mom what happened?”
She began to give me fragments of information and I desperately tried to piece it together. I immediately became frustrated but realized I needed to keep calm.
“Mom are you okay?” It was a stupid question but I was fumbling for thoughts and words.
“Mom who is there with you?”
My parents were living with relatives in a small town in Texas, and she told me she wasn’t alone. The police had informed her there was no need to call an ambulance. They were waiting on the Justice of the Peace to officially declare his death. I could hear people in the background and she went between talking to me to talking to them. I just wanted to scream. I continued to talk to her and did my best to comfort her through the phone. Not long after representatives of funeral home arrived to take his body.
He was no longer a living and breathing person because his heart completely stopped working. His lifeless body was now only left behind on earth – along with my mom, brother, sister and I. Living 1,040.8 miles away meant I would never have the opportunity to ever see him again. I told myself “don’t think about that right now “ – I just needed to get to my mom. I spoke to her while they carried his body out of the house. I didn’t know how she was enduring it – I could barely handle what was happening through the phone.
I walked back in the house and shared the news with my family. The tears I struggled to contain exploded out of me. I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. I still didn’t want to believe it was true. Maybe I was dreaming? Maybe I would wake up soon with my heart beating loudly and tears falling from eyes and realize it was only a dream. A wild vivid dream that felt so frightenly real. This has happened to me many times before so why couldn’t it be true now? Please be like this right now I thought. But I knew no matter how much I desired for this to only be a nightmare in my mind – it wasn’t. It was a reality I would have to live with for my rest of my life – asleep and awake.