Wednesday, April 13, 2011

20 Years Ago

20 years ago today, my Dad died.

It was a warm, spring Sunday afternoon. He had gone out to mow the lawn and collapsed. He was 42 years old.

I had been in the basement, ironing and watching the movie The Burbs. I heard my mom call me up in an unfamiliar voice.

I ran outside to the side yard, and my Dad was on the ground, half down, half up. I remember seeing his mouth move and wave me away. I don't remember what he said.

I didn't know that I should have hugged him. Told him I loved him.

I didn't know that it would be my chance to say good-bye.

I ran to get some neighbors. The ambulance came. My mom went to the hospital. I don't remember who stayed with me and my brother and sister, although I had been babysitting them for several years by then.

Within 2 hours, my mom came home.


Dad was gone.

Simply gone.

* * * * * * *

The hardest thing about having a parent die suddenly, traumatically, when you are young, is that you are never able to trust that people will be there every day.

You know that they can be there each day.

But you also intimately know that it is perfectly possible that tomorrow, they may not be here.

* * * * * * *
The day before my Dad died, I had an opportunity to golf with him.

I didn't.

That regret deepens with each passing year.

My greatest regret though, is that he died well before I had children. That my children do not have the benefit of knowing him and being loved by him. That he did not have the chance to know and love my children.

Lately I've been feeling a tremendous pull to slow down, be in the moment, and focus more on each day as it is happening.

Realizing how quickly 20 years can go by, I think slowing down is a good idea.


Rose Anne said...

I truly where your heart is! Both of my parents are gone and my son never got the chance to know them. Mom 26yrs next month and Dad 44 Yrs this August. I was very young when my Dad passed and always wonder what might have differant in my life.
God Bless,
Rose Anne

bbbunch said...

Oh, my sweet sweet friend. My heart aches with you today. There just aren't any words. (((hugs))) and I love you.


Corey said...

I love you.

ManyBlessings said...

I'm so sorry.

So sorry.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I didn't know your Dad of course, but it seems to me like he would want you to forget the missed golf and focus on the last time you were together instead. You speak of him with such love and fondness and I know you miss him desperately. I think he would be so proud of you as a Mom!

J. said...

so sorry, I can not even imagine.

Lisa said...

I cried when I read this post, 21 years ago this month when I was pregnant with my first child I lost my mom. She too like your dad died of a sudden heartache at age 40. I have now outlived my mom by three years. To lose a parent is hard, but at such an especially young age and with NO warning is beyond words. It does make you want to slow down and cherish every second of every glorious day doesn't it!

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

I'm terrified to think of my dad not being here. I can't imagine how this was/is for you. (((hugs)))