Nothing really exciting happened between these years. I worked at the Transit and it was extremely busy with the Paratransit and the overall growth of the Company. I attended AA loyally, I still was involved in the Fire Department and working every Sunday on the Ambulance. I cannot go into detail on the jobs, so I am fast forwarding.
In September of 1994 my dad fell and broke his hip. He lay on the floor for about 12 hours waiting to be able to call my sister to come get him and take him to the hospital. I happened to be working on the ambulance the night he fell. Do you think he’d call 911?? NO!! He was a stubborn old mule and didn’t want to make a fuss!!
They did a hip replacement and he went to Careage Nursing home for recovery. While he was laying in his hospital bed I felt the love I had for him fill my heart. He looked so old, and I was remembering the dad I knew growing up. He was everything a woman would want or need. He was handy in the house, loved to cook, loved gardening, great sense of humor, could make shelves or anything needed, hunted, fished, camped, loved his wife unconditionally, took his marriage vows very seriously. He was retired Navy, was a Deputy Sheriff, was a Firefighter on the base, and just all around loved by everyone good guy!! After I sat there and watched him I went home and wrote this letter to him:
Tomorrow you are being taken to Careage of Whidbey because you have a broken hip. It will only be for two weeks. I know how frightened you are, but please be reassured that we are not putting you away in an old folks home!! I love you too much to do that.
All my life you have been my hero. Ever since I was a baby I had to sleep with your boon-dockers for re-assurance that you were near. Mom said you even had to come home to feed me.
I was so afraid that you would come home from the Ranger Cruise and divorce mom. I prayed that if that happened that I would go with you.
When I started dating I was so afraid that you wouldn’t like my boyfriends.
When I married Larry, I thought I found someone to fill your shoes. He seemed to be a lot like you, but not really. He didn’t do the handy things around the house that you were so good at. After 13 years of marriage I realized it was no good.
You were such a good husband for mom. You sat back and let her do her thing, and waited for her to settle down. I’ve never seen anyone take their marriage vows so seriously. You haven’t even taken off the wedding band. You must have really loved her. I hope she knew how gifted she was to have found you. I’m sure glad she did.
All three of us kids love you very much. Do you realize how lucky you are to have three kids love you? I wish I had at least one!!
When I was pregnant and in Virginia I was so lonesome for home, and when you called me and asked me to come home, my heart burst. You and mom were right by my side through the whole still-born thing. Dad, I’m so sorry I put you through all of that!! I started drinking really hard after that, and I was totally out of control. I know now I must have put you through Hell. I’m so sorry for all of that. Please forgive me. I’ve been sober for 7 years and three months now, and realize that my life was a mess before. I’m trying my best to live a normal life now. Thank you so much for being my dad. I don’t know what I would do without you here.
It breaks my heart to see you laid up with a broken hip. Dad; Mary Lou, Mike and I are right by you to get you through this. Things will work out. I want you to get better, so we can go to Alaska and explore. You have a lot more years ahead of you if you follow doctor’s orders.
Please know we are with you through all of this.
I love you dearly!! Phyllis
I placed the letter on his bedside and went home. He never mentioned the letter, so I thought maybe he thought it was corny! When he was back at home one day I was visiting with him and he had the letter in his hand and asked if I wrote that. I smiled and said yes, and we both got teary eyed!!
In the Spring of 1996 Dad had some serious trouble with his Diabetes, and had a big infection on his feet. He was sent to the hospital again and then sent to the mainland for an operation and maybe amputation if they had to. It ended up that they didn’t have to amputate but he was in serious shape. He had to go to Dialysis three times a week for the rest of his life.
I was working one day on Camano Island and saw a dog at their pound. He was a Siberian Husky very light blue eyes. He had his back to the rest of the yapping dogs and had his head up and howling his heart out! I was fascinated by him! I don’t like dogs, but I couldn’t get him off my mind. I tried to get people to go adopt him but nobody wanted to. I called the pound and they said there was a waiting list for him. I thought great, but left my phone number anyway. A week later they called me and said come get him. Uh-Oh!! What am I going to do with a dog?!! They told me he did not get along with cats at all, and was a hand full. I took him to the van and sat with him and told him the rules! No pooping or peeing in the house, no chewing on things, no barking at all, no humping my legs, no begging, you must love the cats, they rule, they are the boss in the house, in other words you are not to act like a dog!! He looked at me as if to say ok. I named him Tlingit, and took him home. I picked up Booboo my cat to introduce them and Tlingit’s eyes had that hunger look in them and Booboo ran like hell climbing over my head using my cheeks, nose and eye sockets as a leverage to get the hell away! I still have a small scar just below my left eye. I was really lucky I did not lose my eye!