"Farewell Letter to my father - January 30th, 2008" Personal Page by Homanded
My father passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Jan. 28th at 2:00pm.
It's been a very trying time for my entire family but mostly for my mom who spent the last 17 years of their lives together taking care of him.
Sunday night, my brother and his family went to his house for dinner
as was usual for us on Sunday nights.
Ed and I couldn't attend as we were at the orchid show.
He was fine..
Monday he awoke not feeling well. Mom thought he might be coming down
with a cold and told him to rest after she had fed him breakfast.
Around noon, she went to feed him lunch and as he wasn't feeling well,
he kept him in bed, watching TV.
At 1:30pm, he called her in....
She explained she was trying to clean and get his dinner
started...asked what she could do, he told her he just felt ill...
She laughingly said: "You're just enjoying me babying you and want me
to do so....you know I love y ou"
He said..."I love you more"...closed his eyes and died.
My mom, thinking he was falling asleep and, due to the strong
diuretics he was on, always kept a sippy cup next to the bed side.
She asked him if he'd had water....to take a few sips before falling
She kept holding the sippy cup next to his lips encouraging him to sip
some water.....it was then she realized he had died.
In essence, he had called her one final time to bid his love for her.
They would've been married 50 years this June 28th.
I received the call at work from my brother at 2:00pm.
My consolation at this time is, that, after seeing my father undergo
such horrible, trying operations for the past few years, my brother
and I always feared his final days would consist of laying in a
hospital bed, full of tubes, unable to recognize us.
He died peacefully, seemingly w/out pain or suffering and being able
to express love to my mom - another AMAZING parent story I'm sure, I
will soon write about one day.
Hug and love the one you care for today....don't leave it to chances.
I would like to speak to you all about my father, what he meant to me and the important lessons he taught me in life.
I would like to convey my reading in both Spanish and English to make sure I am able to spread the message.
For the past 2 days, I've been at a loss for words...seemingly, w/out emotion...even tears have not come easy.
Numbness or perhaps strength...strength needed for my mother, my family or perhaps, myself.
I've seen him in death and even this seems surreal - my mind cannot accept or comprehend.
I've seen him laying in the casket and, aside from momentary lapses of reality, it seemed as if I was looking down on someone else's funeral.
Suddenly today, on the way over here, my head filled with thoughts and words.
It happened just a short 1/2 block from here, as I was approaching the church.
I rushed into my brothers house and asked for use of his computer...I needed to put it into words...I needed to let you know how great my father was to me.
I know everybody says that about their parent...here are my reasons why:
My father taught me many lessons in life.
He taught me the importance of an honest day's work and with it, dedication and determination to do your best.
He taught me dignity and courage in the face of several near death experiences and his will to survive them, through love and determination to remain with his family. He never once wavered in the face of danger, citing "a fighting chance to see his granddaughter's grow up" as his strength.
He taught me pride in his willingness to succeed with honesty and integrity....honesty above all else.
Most of all, by giving of himself, and breaking down with his own preconceived notions of "what a son must be", he taught me total love and acceptance.
I know this last one couldn't have been easy for him...I know he had to struggle long and hard in order to put aside any self prejudice he may have been harboring.
His love for me overcame any internal conflicts he may have faced!
In a society where I'm often judged based on prejudice, social stigmas, other peoples concepts, political points of views and especially Religion, my father gave me total acceptance and love.
He always accepted my long term partner of 9 years and showed us the same amount of love and respect he doted on my brother and his wife....without exception.
To him, we were just as much a part of his family nucleus.
He more closely resembled MY concept of the type of God I would choose to worship than any I may have been taught about growing up...one who would judge me NOT on WHO I chose to love...but my ability to love and the wholeness with which I do so.
Finally, in death, he taught me the importance of making sure you always let the person you care for know that they are loved.
He managed to do so with my mother - his partner of 50 years.
Make sure and tell someone you love them today...it could well be the last words you utter, it could literally be your dying breath..as it was for him.
He was a fortunate man, a good man...my father.
I can only hope I was able to convey my true appreciation of him while he lived. I will always have to wonder and that saddens me.
I don't know if I ever managed to put it into proper words.
I look around now and I can only hope that he's standing here, smiling and acknowledging with the sense of pride and love he so deserves...the one he always made me feel he had for me.
I can only tell him:
Papi, I love you.
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