he died...



                                                                                                                        Jan 5th, 1999
            It's been a long time since I've delved into the world of written thought.  Sometimes breaks are good.  It's like when I don't play an instrument for a long time and then start again I find something new.  Well it's been an interesting Christmas.  It was the first Christmas without dad.  I write those words and feel sad.  It is written.  I miss him so much, it’s weird...like mom said we spent a lot of our time here w/o dad really there or involved.  He wasn't a huge part of everyday life!  But he was though. And I miss all those little things.  I'm glad that I got closer to him before he died.  I have to tell myself over and over that the day at Palliative care when he was really out of it on the morphine and I told him how much I loved him and how proud I was to be his son the he heard me.  I know he did though in my heart.  He shines on me when I need him.  So many times the sun has talked to me.  It's dad saying 'everything's ok!"  The day at the hospital, the day of his funeral, the month after he died.  I want to tell about these things for if anyone ever reads this page I want them to know these signs that I received. 
One day late September...actually no...it was oct30th...I was at the hospital for the afternoon spending time with dad and mom.  Dad was pretty bad this day...He was dopey and frustrated and he was trying to take the IV out and it was really hard to watch.  Mom left for a cigarette and told me to just let him know I was there.  So I sat there beside his bed, put my hand on his arm and squeezed.  His bottom lip stuck out and quivered like he was going to/trying not to cry!  All I could think was he was sitting there in his drugged state knowing exactly what was going on but not able to communicate it to me thinking "here I am so helpless, my son comforting me".  I feel like he thought he was low.  I felt sad.  All I wanted was my dad to be back.  When mom came back I went out for a cig and was half crying.  I stood there outside the hospital under a grey sky with a hint of frost and invisible hail in the air.  I wanted my father back the way he was before.  I prayed to God saying that all I wanted was to see my father again.  I wanted to hear his laugh as much as I want to hear it right now.  I prayed so hard and when I was done the grey sky broke and an immense beam of sunlight came down and warmed me.  I thought it coincidental at first but then I felt it.  I felt God answering me and saying Ok...you will.  I smiled.
A week and 2 days went by and I was told my father was in the first stages of death.  It hurt.  It was terrifying.  My friends held me up.  The day after the beautiful benefit such real words entered my head.  Death!  The next day I went to Palliative care to see dad and he looked really bad.  No response barely.  Couldn’t' walk on his own.   It was the day I told him the things I always wanted to tell him but couldn’t' get the courage to tell him before.  It was the day that he was moved up on his bed by the nurses and I'll never ever forget the look of terror and pain on my father's face.  I thought he might die right then.  I wanted to take his pain away so much.  That look stayed painted on his face like cut in stone for it seemed forever.  Then the drugs kicked in and he felt nothing, or so it seemed.  What were that man's thoughts then?  I wish I knew.  I wish I could have made them better thoughts.  Another day went by with little change in his pain but he was a little more responsive and I said the same things to him again.  He just said 'Thank you" and told me that he appreciated it.  It was really sweet.  The next day I went in with mom and Tracey and there he was, sitting at the table eating lunch and chatting away.  Awake and alert as can be.  DAD!!  It was him and he was laughing and smiling and talking like Dad used to talk.  My prayers were answered.  He even gave mom a kiss on the lips that was genuine and not playful…something I’d never seen before.  I was in shock.  I didn’t know what to say or do.  I just sat there and enjoyed.  I was so happy. 
            A little while later it was just Tracey and I and Dad in the Kitchen of Palliative Care.  He was talking away and he mentioned something about his guardian angel.  Tracey and I just looked at each other.  It was really nice but strange to hear that from our father.  Later dad said to me that he woke up today and looked outside and realized where he was.  And he thought to himself that he could just 'park his bones and die' or he could wake up!  Wake up and see his family that loves him.  Later when there was about 10 or more people in his room (Carol, Lynn, Michelle, Dawn, Rob, Sarah, Katelyn, Jesse, Tracey, Me and Frankie) he said that earlier that morning he woke up and felt angry and scared.    he went into the kitchen and he said that something hit him b/w the eyes...he looked to the left, to the right and even looked UP to see what he bumped into but there was nothing there.   Next he said he saw a blue light glowing in front of his face.  A nice warm light.  It made a slow circle around his head and then it shot off and he felt awoken.  All his anger and fear left him and he felt at peace.  It was on of the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.  I was so happy for him.  My prayers had been answered.  He received his last confession and the sacrament of the sick that say from Father Brady.  Three days later I was in Halifax for a UPEI band trip.. the phone rang at my girlfriend’s house as we were making supper. It was my mom.  “Deryl something awful has happened.. your dad died a little while ago”. 

I slumped against the fridge in shock though also the most real reality I've ever felt.   Not being there, with everyone, when he died was horrific - nothing but my imagination and second hand stories to fill the unfriendly gaps.  

                                                Father
I heard my mother cry, when my father died
It’s a day I’ll never know.
I was miles away, ready to play,
The day I missed the show.
So I cried and cried, I found a ride,
Home was where I’d go.

Home where my father was no more
I thought I’d see him once more.
So I closed my eyes, I saw him smile,
As I kissed his head and said I’d see you again.

I came through the door, he’d be there I swore,
I hoped it was all a dream.
But there was an emptyness in this, a shrunken nest,
As tears from my heart streamed.
I heard my mother’s cry, I thought I would die,
and I would see my father again.


But he’s still here and the sun continue’s to shine.

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