Six years ago, God decided that my father's mission was done. Looking back I really understand why he did. It took me a long time to get to this point. Where I can let go of him. I know that he looks after me and visits every now and then.
A little over six years ago, my mother called me in the evening. My mother doesn't call on her own all that often. I knew immediately that something was wrong. She hadn't gotten all the details but there had been some kind of accident and that he was in the hospital. I lost it and was in hysterics. I called a fellow carrier who was a supervisor. I told him what happened. He mentioned FMLA for me to use. I said no this is not going to be an FMLA event. I was going home for his death. I knew it. He gave me the number of one of the supervisors. I called him. I also called the Post Office the next morning. I got a loan to head home that next morning.
I ran into the ICU unit at Breckenridge in Austin. I stopped at the door. I couldn't go in. I started crying. This is not my father my mind was screaming. He was a loud boisterious man. Our house was never quiet. He usually had the television blaring. He was always talking loudly at someone. Picking on someone. Here he was now laying quiet with a tube down his throat. It took me fifteen minutes to walk into the room
When I finally did, I went up and squeezed his earlobe in my fingers. That was one of the loving quirks of my family. I saw that his mouth was drooling. I went up and grabbed a Kleenex for his mouth. I wiped his mouth. I rubbed his arm. I went down to his feet and rubbed them. I began smiling remembering a time when none of us girls would ever go near his feet. You see he worked for UPS as a driver for years. His feet always stunk. He was known for chasing us with his shoes to tease us. Yep I am the only daughter who followed in her Daddy's shoes for a while. I loved the job as a letter carrier. I walked around the hospital bed. I told him that I was here. That it was time to wake up and come home. That his granddaughters were here. I was describing my youngest daughter, Cheyenne, to him. You see he hadn't seen her yet. I was telling him about her strawberry blond hair and her stubborn streak. I could picture him laughing at me and telling me that I had it coming. I was that way with him. Is it no wonder that I would have a child just like me?
At that moment in time, he attempted to get up. I began screaming for my sister. He is trying to get up. He hears me. He finally settled back down. That is my final memory of him. He tried to get up out of that bed for me. I knew beyond the shadow of doubt that my Daddy loved me.
He visits every now and then. We had just bought this Grand Cherokee Jeep. He was sitting next to me playing with the bells and whistles. The inside lights were turning off and on. The coffee pot will start on its own. The television will turn off on its own while I am reading a book in the recliner.
My sisters get visits too. One sister had his picture come up missing. My other sisters will have a golf ball thrown their way out of the blue. He loved to play golf and even won a tournament or two.
I am reminded of a time where he picked me up on my way home from school. You see he and I were not allowed to have our children in our vehicles. It was raining and he was delivering in our neighborhood. He saw me and picked me in old Big Brown. I was sitting on the footstep of the truck. Odd what memories I can remember.
I remember another time when I had a candle lit in my room. I went to the bathroom. It caught my favorite lamp on fire. I got it out. I had to kick my cockatiel and cats outside. I opened up the room. My dad walked into the house at the same time. I was fully expecting him to scream at me. He didn't. He just laughed and said that will teach you to leave a candle alone.
I miss him even now. I went through eight months of pure agony after his death. I didn't want to live. Four months after his death, we lost his mother. I was so envious of her. I wanted to be with him. I didn't think it was fair. It took me eight months to say what my heart felt like. It was like trying to put back together something that was shattered into a million glass shards. It was not going to be done overnight. You know what I mean? The pure desperation of trying to piece something back together that should never have been broken. I was trying to do this through tears streaming down my face.
It took the eight months for it to come out of me. I still write about him every now and then. I miss him.