Monday, August 02, 2004

Chapter 45...1996-1997

When dad got out of the hospital he went into a nursing home for about a month then moved back home. It got to where it was hard for him to live alone. Visiting nurses would go to his place three times a week to change the dressings on his feet. I would dole out his medications and fill his syringes, and pay his bills. His place was just too filthy to try to keep clean and he just didn’t try to keep it clean himself. They never did!! We persuaded dad to sell his place and move in with my sister. He put the place on the market and it sold. Dad took what he needed and then we held a huge garage sale and divided up what didn’t sell between us three kids. It was really hard selling the stuff that has been part of our family most of our lives. Someone would offer a quarter and I would grab it and say “I made that when I was in the third grade!!” I think he would’ve made more money if I wasn’t there to grab the stuff back!!
My dad was the original pack rat!! He had two pole barns full of JUNK!! He would pick stuff out of the dump and drag it home. He had a big wooden box of rusted together square nails. He planned on someday soaking them apart and using them to make something with. He had every fishing pole and reel he ever owned. Instead of throwing them away when they broke, they went into the round-tuit pile, but he just never got around to it!! He had old jars, boxes, tools, every National Geographic Magazine, encyclopedias, you name it!!
Dad would go to Bingo twice a week and to dialysis three times a week. I think living with Mary Lou was good for the both of them. My sister hates living alone and she is a nurturer. She would cook dad dinner and make his lunch for him to take to dialysis. I remember sitting at the table when dad was eating his dinner and he wasn’t eating his broccoli. I said “dad, eat your broccoli”. He said he didn’t like broccoli. I said eat your dang broccoli!! He looked at me scared like, and Mary Lou said “you made her sit at the table for hours making her eat asparagus, so you better eat your broccoli”!! he got mad but ate his broccoli!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Be nice to your kids, they might be taking care of you one day!!)
November 7th a Paratransit driver went to pick dad up to take him to dialysis, but he wasn’t at the door. Dad’s dog was barking at the door from inside, so Chuck opened the door and found dad slumped over in his wheelchair. Chuck called the dispatcher and they called 911 and came and got me in my office. I ran to my sister’s house beating everyone there, and Chuck was performing CPR on dad. I took over the breaths and told Chuck he was doing a good job with compressions and told him to continue. I called my brother that lived down the street and he came up just as the Fire Department and Ambulance showed up. My good friend Alana was one of the Paramedics, and Don was the other one. My entire life was in that room!! My family, the Ambulance that I worked on, the Fire Department I was in, and the Paratransit driver that I trained!! In fact I taught him First Aid/CPR 6 months before. He was a wreck, the poor guy!! Here he is performing CPR on his boss’s dad!! Dad was pronounced dead at the ER. Mary Lou came from her work and met Mike and I at the ER. That was hard on us all!! We were now parentless. You think about this all your life but are never ready for it!!
Dad was only 77 years old.
They say that good things happen to those that stay sober, but bad things happen too!! The Holidays are approaching and we just lost our father!! I wanted a drink really bad but never made it an option. Some people say that since they came into Alcoholics Anonymous they have lost the desire to drink. Well goody for them! I haven’t lost my desire to drink. I loved to drink I love the taste, and I loved the effects (to a point). But I have never let it be an option for me. I know where I will end up if I picked up another drink and I don’t want to go there again!!
We had dad cremated and the day they cremated him I heard a fire call go out in Oak Harbor for a chimney fire at the Funeral Home where they cremated dad!! HAHAHAHA
Way to go, dad!! He was a Firefighter so he went out in style!! HAHAHAHA
We took dad’s ashes to the Peninsula just North of Port Angeles at Klahowya Campgrounds #35 at the Sol duc River. We took turns grabbing a handful of ashes and throwing them into the river. I went first and reached into the box and grabbed some ashes and was rather shocked that it felt warm and had the consistency of cat litter!! I tossed it towards the river and a gust of wind blew it right back to me!! That just does not happen in the movies!! Of course I got the giggles and started spitting onto the ground to get the ashes out of my mouth!! Then we all were laughing and crying. I think my brother was upset with me but I can’t help it. I have always laughed when it is not appropriate to!!
The Holidays came and went in a blur. 1997 rolled in and the start of a new year. I hate that hollow feeling you get when a loved one dies. The void. Guess what, it seems to get better but once in awhile it returns. I have had to stop myself reaching for the phone to call mom or dad. I miss them terribly, but I feel them with me a lot.

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