It is almost the exact hour, when twenty seven years ago time stopped for me.
It was a Friday morning. I was working on the geriatric ward as a student nurse. I was tired and feeling low, as my Dad was very weak, with motor neurone disease. The ward sister came over and asked me to go home. Thinking that she was just being kind I refused, but with the help of a friend she persuaded me to go. I didn’t know that she had received a phone call. I didn’t know my Dad had died. I didn’t know life had changed.
I asked her would she mind if I gathered a few things for my Dad, some suction tubing and wipes and other hospital bits that the ward were always so generous to supply me with. I was unaware of the hush around me, as nursing friends rushed to help me pack a bag for him. All the time knowing I would not need it.
At about 9.20am I was leaving the main hospital door when I decided to phone my Mom to tell her I was on my way. I knew she was also very tired, and I thought she’d appreciate the fact I’d be home soon, to be there with her and Dad. I went into the phone booth. There was no door on it, and I dialed home. Mom answered and as I told her I was on my way with the bits Dad needed, she interrupted me. ‘He’s gone Patricia..we’ve lost him’.
To this day I remember my utter confusion at her words. What? How could she lose him. He was bed bound. Immobile. I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. I said, ‘What do you mean Mum, where is he gone?’, Her words spoken through tears haunt me still, ‘He passed away Tric, we’ve lost him’.
My confusion left me, to be followed by such an array of emotions washing over me in waves. I can barely recall the minutiae of those next moments. I do remember shouting ‘No, No, No’, and my Mom trying to stop me. I remember her hanging up, and my overwhelming anger, fury, and incredible rage. I shouted and cried so hard. The security guards came and tried to speak with me. They made repeated efforts to remove me from the phone booth. I knew them well and looking back I am still embarrassed at my display. When I did burst out of that phone booth, lets just say they stayed well back, as I flung Dads needless supplies all around me, so cross that he would never need any of them ever again. Eventually a lovely old nun, who I was most fond of, was called to rescue the situation. All four foot six of her, stood before me, put her arms out, and said nothing. It was all that was needed. I crumbled.
Twenty seven years have done little to reduce the sadness I still feel at the loss of my Dad. He never saw me qualify, nor shared in any of my many trials and tribulations of life. He didn’t get to walk me up the aisle, to ‘give’ me to a man I know he would have hugely approved of. He never got to meet my children. To hold them, kiss them or love them. He and I have missed out on so much. So much of what we all think is a given. He left us way before his time.
So today October 9th, I wonder what might have been. I say to Dad,’ I miss you’, but then again, I say that almost every day, and I mourn the man I loved so dearly. My Dad.
I wrote this earlier today. Writing it was a lovely way to take the time to sit and remember Dad. However be assured I did not spend the day weeping, and all is good in my world. Sometimes, it is only when we take the time to sit and cry, that we can truly be close to someone we have lost. Now if I didn’t get to you with my post, just look at the song I chose for the day that is in it.
26 thoughts on “Remembering that day.”
So tenderly written Tric and I know from your previous posts what a lovely daddy he was. Big hug to you.
Thanks Olivia. He was fab!
I don’t know what to say, tric. The like button wasn’t doing it for me this evening. Hope your Mum is OK today, too.
Thank you. Today is always difficult for my Mom. It’s only now I see how young my Dad and mum were when he died. Thanks a mil for asking after her, and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.
You are the perfect person to have been a nurse! ❤
Thanks Jackie. I wasn’t a nurse for too long as my kids arrived early! However I did love it. It was all I wanted to be from a very young age.
Dear Tric, oh, you’ve moved me to tears, (always welcome) and in such awe at the love you have for your father, and what a wonderful man he must have been.
I did not get to know my father, as I was 3 when he died of lupus, but I’ve always heard what a wonderful man he was, and I’m grateful for the gifts I received from him in his short time here.
Thank you for sharing such a beautifully intimate time. Sending much love.
Thank you Lucia. I don’t often hesitate before posting but I did tonight.
My Dad was a beautiful writer. I don’t class myself in his league but I do think I got my love of writing from him, which is lovely to know.
How sad to lose your Dad before you can really remember him, and hard for your mom too.
Life is so random and unpredictable.
this is beautiful and so bittersweet, tric. it never does go away, you just learn to live with it, and it is clear how much you loved your dad, he is a lucky man to have you as his daughter.
Yes it doesn’t go away, but you get on. Thanks Beth, I was lucky to have him, even if it was short lived.
Tric, this is so moving. My daughters are having a rough time dealing with Mike’s passing and this allows me to see things from their viewpoint. My heart goes out to your mom. I know her anguish. It never really goes away, does it? That loss and grief will always hang around us, won’t it?
I read your comment earlier today and it gave me a great lift. I am glad what I wrote helped you to understand your childrens reaction better.
I remember to my shame, that after Dad died I was no use to my mom in her grief. I was selfish and so consumed in my own sadness and loss. It is still very early days for you. I am sure you must miss Mike so very much.
Daniels mom met a mother one day shortly after Dan died who told her that every day you heal a very tiny bit. So small you do not notice it, but in time when you look back you can see that you have.
I think that is a very comforting thought.
Glad to have given you a lift! ☺️ we all need one now and then. One daughter is in denial and will fund any excuse she can not to call or visit. I’m trying to give her her space. The other one keeps in touch daily and will make time to visit me. It is amazing how different each child is.
I think I was a bit like your daughter who is in denial. I hated going home, because ‘home’ was my mom and dad, and that was gone for ever. I found it so very painful. I was to a large degree, not caring about my mom, as I was so overly focused on my own hurt.
My mom, maybe like yourself, let me grieve my own way. I see now how selfish I was, but I was very wounded. Hopefully in time she will be there for you.
Sorry I’m so long getting back to you, this going offline has killed me. I’m so behind reading and answering comments.
I don’t think it is selfish of you. Stop beating yourself up. Like you said, we all process grief differently. Your mom understood that and didn’t force you to grieve her way, which is what I’m trying to do with my kids and grandkids. I pray they won’t forget him, his laugh or his love for them.
It’s ok for your delay…you have been electronically deprived! 😀
It can’t be easy thinking back on those memories Tric. I’m very sorry that you lost your dad far too soon.
Thanks Lisa. Better to have loved and lost I suppose, but we still miss him, especially now seeing his grandchildren grow up.
Tric, hugs to you and your mother. jx
Thank you. All hugs appreciated.
You’re welcome. Hope you’re doing okay. Not an easy time, even after many years.
Your emotions of that day came through full force with your writing. Thank you for sharing it. And what a beautiful song to share with your father. It’s as if it was written for you and your mom.
Thanks Colleen. It was a difficult time.
Yes I thought that song said it all.
very beautiful, Tric 🙂
Thank you Michele.
As the tears fall down my cheeks Tric and there is that lump in the back of my throat, I feel your pain.
Hugs to you.
Thanks. It’s amazing how clear the memories and the depth of grief still present are after all these years.