I found you dead this morning, in your recliner, with your hands balled in a fist. I could see your purple legs and your ashen gray face all the way from the end of the hallway. I touched your arm and you were stiff as a board. I called your name a few times, but you didn’t answer. I pushed on your legs a few times but got no reaction. Your mouth was gaping open and your eyes were closed. Thank you for not having your eyes open. That would have been it for me. I called 911, but, it was just a formality. Dad, you’re not the first dead person that I’ve seen. Just the first one that I’ve seen in my living room. You were ice cold and the compressions that they told me to do were useless. It took the paramedics at least 9 minutes to arrive from 1 1/2 miles away. Good thing you weren’t having a heart attack, huh? I did their compressions for a few minutes, but then I stopped and just made loud breathing noises into the phone when they asked me if I was doing the compressions. Fuck their formalities.
I’m pretty pissed right now, dad. In the last five months, I have taken you through countless surgeries to fix up all of the bumps and bruises you collected throughout your life so that you could be comfortable and healthy in your retirement. I did all of that so that you would be with us for another 20 years. I didn’t expect us to get to the point where all you were getting was follow-ups for you to have, what is likely, a heart attack in the recliner. Aside from all of the things that we fixed up, you were healthy as a horse. You worked out every day, you ate no fat, you didn’t drink or smoke. Why in the hell are you laying in a freezer right now? WHY???
I talked to all of your friends today, dad. Your little old-fashioned flip phone was a fount of information when I needed to get the word out about your passing. They were all shocked and heartbroken. Some of your old military buddies picked up the torch and carried it for a few hours by calling other friends, just so that I could get a break to go to my church to pray. Dad, do you know who I didn’t talk to today? I didn’t talk to that manipulative girlfriend of yours who took advantage of your mental illness to drain you dry of much of the money that you earned over the years. Yes, dad, that’s right. She hasn’t called you in a few days. No calls, no texts, no emails. I wanted you so badly to get away from her. She didn’t care that you were miserable in your own mind, she saw you as an ATM. I’m not going to call her, I want to see how long it takes this bitch to call. You were the one who always called her, weren’t you? She knew that she could keep you coming back. Ugh! That makes me so angry.
So, I guess over the next few days, I’m going to be learning a lot more about you than I thought I already knew. I was surprised to learn that you had been seeing a doctor for mood stabilizers. Do you mean to tell me that the entire time that I was pleading with you to get some help, you were, but were denying it? Really? Honestly, dad, I would have loved to have helped you with that. But, whatever. In the last few weeks of your life, it seemed that you were much happier than you normally were. Much more loving. The rage in your brain wasn’t as loud. I’m glad. You showed my friend’s dog a picture of me as a baby and told the dog that I was your little girl. Okay, you told it to a dog. I was in the room. I know how hard it was for you to communicate with other humans.Thank you for acknowledging that I was always supposed to be your little girl. Oh, dad! I’m so relieved that you aren’t sad in that head of yours anymore. You are no longer imprisoned by the thoughts that you couldn’t change.
The next few weeks are going to be hard. You have somehow made your Will disappear. But, I’ll find it. Remember, I was an investigator in my past life. Thanks for not making me one of those people in the life insurance commercials, waiting at the mailbox for a $10,000 check to bury you with. Nope. You were very proud of the fact that you set all of your children (and your ex-wife) up for life..or close to it. I don’t know what you left me, dad. I really don’t. At this point, I don’t care. You gave me a don’t quit, addicted-to-work attitude in my genetic coding and I won’t need all of that extra money.
I love you, dad. We didn’t say it a lot but I think we both knew. Please watch over me tonight. Goodnight, dad.