Unfortunately, there are moments in life that are seared in our brains. As long as we walk on this earth, we never forget.
I've been troubled the past few days and couldn't figure out why. I woke early this morning with him on my mind. My dad.
Was. Not is. Was.
He has been gone now nineteen years.
I remember the day he left like it was yesterday.
My phone rang. A stranger on the other end telling me I needed to get to hospital as soon as possible. I still don't know who. Likely, a nurse.
We rushed. Sped. Flew through more than one traffic light to get there.
I ran through the hospital doors and met my brother's dazed look across the emergency room. He didn't have to tell me. It was written all over his face.
My dad was gone. Dead. I hadn't made it on time. My knees buckled. I shook. So much so, I had to be held up until someone could drag me to a chair. I rocked back and forth. The smell of antiseptic nauseated me. I threw up.
I remember a touch. A stranger's hand on my shoulder. A woman. Definitely, a woman. She never said a word, but her whole face glowed with a sincerity of sympathy I will not ever forget. She was there, and then she wasn't.
He had a jovial laugh, my dad. And he ate the weirdest food combinations. For instance, cool whip sandwiches.
White bread with cool whip on top. Gross!
I wasn't with him when the above photo was taken. He's in the Alps. It's one of my favorites. I was able to snatch it when we went through photos for the funeral.
It sits on my desk. I see him every day.
I'd like to think his look of awe in the photo mimicked his gaze when he first saw heaven.