It has been 18 years since February 11th, 1999…the day my father passed away. I was 24 yrs old when my dad passed and I was pregnant with child number 6. I never got to tell him that I was having another baby. He was concerned for me when I told him when I was pregnant with number 5. I hadn’t the chance to call him and tell him yet. Instead of me making a phone call to him, my eldest sister that I barely knew called me to tell me that he may not make it through the night.
I was on a plane that night! I flew all night and being in the early stages of pregnancy exhaustion, that was not an easy task. I wasn’t known well to my older siblings since I was the product of my father’s 3rd marriage. And since they didn’t know me and I was young and alone, I ended up stuffed in a corner. I watched as others talked and took my father down memory lane in his barely conscious morphine induced stupor. I was angry that morphine was forced down his throat when he was just starting to come out of it. I never really got to let him know that I was there. And for that, I hold a lot of regret.
I should have spoke at his funeral. I should have talked about his life when he lived in Florida because all these relatives knew of my father was when he lived in Michigan. I regret not talking to him more about the Great Depression…my father was born in 1929. I remember him telling me of the radio being the center of stories in the evening. My father lived through so much history and I now feel that I am at an wiser age to appreciate his stories…he is gone.
I used to have a fear of the age 45 years old. I grew up with my father being very ill through my years alone with him. He told me that doctors were surprised that he lived past 45 years old! I remember a night he was having a hard time getting a breath and I couldn’t find his pills. I was so scared. I talked to him about it afterwards and he told me that God would not take him until he had a full life. My dad told me his full life was when he saw me married with a family and know that his baby would be taken care of.
Well, my Dad lived a full life…and while I wish my children would have gotten to know him, I know he lives on through me.
I am no longer afraid of turning 45 years old because I know that I will be here for my children, just as my father was here for me. And I hope that they will know my father and me without any regrets…in due time.