Monday, August 24

My Dad

TB and I are back for a couple of days. It's really been a weekend of feeling shock and roller-coastering emotions.

TB's been working to get our family room ready for my parents to move in. I was at the community college dropping paperwork off for my son and I got a message on my cell phone from my brother. I thought he said that my dad needed to go to the hospital and that I should call him as soon as possible. Now, the last time I saw my dad he was very strong. Even though he was losing most of his sight, he was strong physically and in mind. In fact, he carried a big box of books out to the van to bring back to NJ. Pete said it looked bad but I just figured he was sick or had a mild heart attack or something.

But when I got Pete on the phone, the first thing he said was "I love you" and it confused me. I said I love you too and asked what happened. He told me that my dad had been feeling unwell all week. Mom and Pete both wanted my dad to go to the doctor but he kept refusing. That's Dad. Pete said my parents were watching a baseball game on Friday and that mom thought dad had fallen asleep. He stopped, unable to go on.

All of a sudden it was dawning on me, what my brother was trying to tell me. My father was gone. It hit me like a hard fist in the stomach and I just lost it. I started crying--I just couldn't believe it. When Pete found out I was alone at the community college, he asked me to get Ted to come and pick me up. He said, don't drive, it's going to hit you again hard. Don't drive.

So I called home and got Bill. I was crying so hard, he couldn't understand me and put Ted on the phone. Ted could barely understand me either and I guess Heidi or Kristin must have picked up an extension because I heard one of them say, "Her father is dead". So Ted dropped everything and Bill drove him to the college. TB still had plaster all over his hands.

While I was waiting, I called the pastor of our church and so when TB arrived, we just went right over. Bill went on to work. Pastor said a prayer with us which was really comforting and I was calming down a lot.

We went down to MD Saturday morning and stayed until Sunday evening. We had to come back because of tests that Kristin was having Wednesday and for nerve tests & blood work for TB and me. But then we're going back Thursday. I'm going to stay with my mom for at least a week. She doesn't have a computer so unless I go to my brother's house, I'll be offline until I get back.

My mom, as anyone would expect, alternates between shock and grief. What she experienced is very similar to what happened with me and Bill when we found Rich. I know she's going to have flashbacks for a long time. I comforted her as much as possible and told her not to blame herself or feel guilty about anything. I'm also worried about her because she's so off-balance. She stands up and just about tips over. Even when she walks with support on either side of her, she has to stop frequently. She's having some initial tests after my father's memorial service and TB & I will make sure she gets good follow-up care here.

This morning I woke up early again so I posted a photo album about my dad on Facebook. I'm not done posting all the pictures. I brought a lot of them to MD and gave them to my niece to make a collage for my dad's memorial.

What's really upsetting me right now is that I want my kids to come for the service. Kristin even offered to stay with me afterward, at my mom's next week. But Billy and Heidi are hemming and hawing and saying well I can take this day off but not that...I don't know if they've talked to their supervisors. Isn't there supposed to be compassionate leave at Walmart and Shoprite? I feel like I should call the managers myself!

It's still really hard to believe.

The photo album is here.


Michelle said...

I am so sorry for your loss Cassie. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Maire said...

Hi Cassie, I'm sorry, been a lurker, found your blog because we are local to each other. My deepest condolences to you.
Take care,

katztales said...

Very sorry to hear this. It must have been a terrible shock. We're purring for you.

Jopan said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your dad. i never know what to say with this kind of thing, but i'll be thinking about you; And you are allowed conpassionate leave in my shop although when my old boss had someone die she only had the one day off. If it was me i'd be useless until further notice, i'd frighten the customers (i'm good at doing that anyway)

Tricia said...

Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about your Father. I will keep you and your entire family in my thoughts.

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