Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Gift

Favorite Picture of Me and Dad -

During the morning hours of Feb 4, I woke up around 2am and tossed and turned, tried to read then turned off the light only to turn it back on and try again. Finally at 430 I was able to fall back into sleep.

At 730 am my brother called to let me know that Dad had passed away during the night at home with Mom. Mom thinks it happened sometime between 2-230am. She realized his breathing, which had been labored all day, had become quiet. She made calls and my brother arrived around 3am. They did what you do when someone passes in the middle of the night, then he suggested they say the rosary and finally at 430am she was able to lay back down.

I have written many times about my Dad. As I look back at my very first entry it was about my Dad going into the hospital with CHF and subsequently had a stroke. It has been a long journey, bittersweet at times, and so full of love and the celebration of a life to arrive at this moment when I and everyone who loves him, has to let him go.

"I want to go home!" he told us at the hospital Saturday and by gosh, they let him go home.

Now he has truly gone home. I am happy that his pain and suffering is behind him. That I so firmly believe in an afterlife I know he is now residing in that place I think of as heaven, able to walk without a walker, able to sing Danny Boy at the top of his lungs, hear without hearing aides that really don't work all that well anyway, remembering all the grandchildren names, eating whatever he damn well pleases, driving any car he wants, eating a banana split and swimming in the Atlantic ocean, dancing the jig with my Aunt Pat and Nana, laughing about him being a street urchin running numbers in Hells Kitchen in the 20's and 30's with his brother, and in a safe place without hospital beds, IV's and pills everyday to get you through the day. His heart will beat with the strength of all those who loved him and will remember him.