I think, for many people, one of the most difficult moments in life is when we realize our dad isn’t invincible.
Yesterday, my dad lost his battle with Renal Cancer; he passed away at home. He was only 65-years-old.
Over the years, I’ve written some tough content about my past, about my poor choices, and about things which happened to me in my youth. However, nothing was as difficult as what I wrote today.
Today, with the permission of my family, I was given the honor and privilege of writing his obituary — and it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. However, as a professional author, I could think of no better tribute to my beloved father than the written voice of his obituary…
I’ve managed to keep some lasting memories of him, other than pictures. After I signed my second publishing contract, I sent him a text and told him about it. He called back while I was out running, so I missed the call, but he left me a voicemail. And thanks to modern technology, I was able to save and keep it.
After all the terrible things I’ve done in my life, he has always seen the brighter side and has always known I was capable of turning the bad into good. And when I was truly able to do that, he never ceased to tell me how proud he was of me.
The last bit of time we spent together was on the day he died. The family was assembled at his house, keeping a vigil over him as the Hospice nurses cycled in and out. But there was a point during the afternoon when everyone left the house except me. So it was just him and me, hanging out together, for the final time. He was unconscious (and had been for several days), but I still talked to him like any other time we’d sat around the house. I turned on the TV show we’ve always bonded over — The West Wing — and I opened a dozen pack of baseball cards he had sitting around. Collecting baseball cards together is something we’ve done since the 1980s. So I sat down in a chair next to his Hospice hospital bed in the middle of the living room and began opening packs of cards, telling him about notable players and unique cards in each pack — including a surprise autograph. So, for a few hours, for the final time, we were able to be father/son. That time spent with him is a time I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I’ve never lost someone so close to me.
And it hurts.