To Have That Minute Back

8 11 2012

He’s still here, despite his entire absence   Almost every day, I’ve a conversation with him.  I tell him about the girls’ latest accomplishments, my frustrations with their teenage behaviours, my irritations with our household budgets and finances…pretty much everything.  When he was still here, it was a weekly thing – our thing.  He called me almost every Sunday from the moment we were apart until we were truly apart.  We’d talk about his travels, relationship aggravations, politics and share the latest jokes we’d heard (though he was by far better than I with delivery and timing).

Twelve years ago today, he was stolen from me.  I have his medical records from the hospital, more than 500 pages worth and I’ve poured over them with medical professionals looking for that fleeting hope that he didn’t have to die.  There were a few hindsights that could have offered a different result, but none that were a guarantee or even worth betting on.  So instead those papers became my last little connection with the man I loved so greatly.  The nurses’ notation that he was such a charming gentleman, even while lying there dying he said ma’am and minded to be cordial.  It makes me smile to read, because it was so very much who he was.

I’ve held, still do hold, so much hurt that his life was ended while I was out of the room.  And considering that we, as a family, held the keys to the end, the fact that I was not present when the final moment passed still hurts.  Even moreso when I consider that it was I who tried so hard to ensure that his wishes to not live via a machine was seen through!  Why would the minute of his last moments be chosen to be that moment I was not there?  If I’d been in the room at 2:35, I’d have watched him take his final breath.  But no, I opted to leave and find a drive-thru to get food for the girls and Brandon and I.  If I’d taken a moment less in the parking lot, or when ordering, or when waiting for the elevator – a million ifs.  It wouldn’t have changed the fact that he would take his final breath that day and that he would be gone forever – but I’d promised to be there ’til the end and I arrived after the end had since passed.

He was supposed to be here.  To watch me raise his granddaughters.  He was supposed to be here.  To be their grandfather and side with them against me.  To laugh and share my naughty secrets of how alike them I am.  He was supposed to be here. He should be here.  Twelve years later I still can’t fucking understand why he had to be taken away from me then.  Why not later?  After he had lived a life.

I suppose there probably never is a time that is right for death.  There’ll always be someones who will physically be so anguished by that pain of the loss when it happens.  But 54 was not a time for death.  It was just a scratch at the surface of living a life.

I miss him so painfully.  What I would not give for just that minute I missed, to say I love you that one last time.  Not a single day passes that I cannot feel those stinging tears brimming, and that tightness in my throat as I fight them back.

You are missed Daddy.

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