December 19

The whole thing started on December 12.

I got a phone call from the assisted living my dad was living in saying he’d fallen. The first call was in the middle of the night. They said he was in pain, but they were going to have the doctor talk to him in the morning. At around 7 am, I got a phone call that they’d done an x-ray & it showed a fracture in his hip, so they were taking him to the hospital. I talked to him briefly that day & he said they were planning to do surgery the next morning. For some reason, that got bumped to Friday. M took the boys to see him Thursday night & he said that my dad was downright chipper; the best mood M had seen Dad in, in a long time.

Friday morning, my dad called me to let me know they were doing surgery that day. He told me he was going to turn his phone off because he figured he’d be out of it the rest of the day due to the anesthesia. That evening I got another phone call from him that surgery had gone well & he was going to be up & walking in about an hour. I told him I’d talk with him soon, that I loved him, & that I’d be there on Friday.

That was the last time I talked to my dad & he was coherent.

I’m really glad I told him I loved him.

Sunday morning, I got a call around 5:30. Because there was no message left, I assumed it was my dad & that he’d called me from his room because his phone had died & he’d probably been up all night. I figured I’d call him Monday morning because I worked Sunday night. I wanted him to get his rest.

Monday I got another call from the hospital. That was when I learned he’d been in the ICU. The PA I talked with said she was releasing him back to the floor. I thought we were out of the woods.

And then . . .

And then, Tuesday happened.

I was at work, doing a job I don’t always do. I had my phone on me because of Dad being in the hospital & I went to take a restroom break. As I was washing my hands, my phone rang. The hospital again.

My world kind of shattered at that moment.

The doctor on the other end told me my dad had coded, that they’d done CPR for 10 minutes & he was back in the ICU on a ventilator.

I hung up with the doctor & called my mom. When she didn’t answer, I called M. You see, my mom was in Delaware. For over a month, we all thought Butter’s winter concert was December 18. I couldn’t be there, so my mom went, which is awesome. The concert was not that night. Mom asked me if I wanted her to go the hospital & through my tears, I said yes.

She called me once, but she was smart. She texted J, the guy I’m seeing. Mom said something along the lines of we should probably not wait until the morning to leave. Through my tears, I asked a kitchen manager to let the rest of the managers on duty know I needed to leave NOW.

I was all but booted out of the restaurant. If I haven’t said before I love the management team at this location, please know that I adore them. They had my back 1000%.

I came home & threw a bunch of stuff into a bag. I was planning to head up for Christmas on Thursday anyway, so I just packed for the week. J drove with me. As he said, God forbid I got a call from my mom on the way that he’d passed. We got to the hospital around 4am. At that point, Mom met us in the waiting room. She gave me a head’s up that the information I’d gotten over the phone was inaccurate. Dad was totally unresponsive.

The first person I called was M. We’ve been through a lot together in the last 15 years & I wanted him to be there. Around 7:30, the staff told me to go home & get some rest. I didn’t want to, but it was what everyone wanted, so I did. I went back to M’s house & I rested. I watched a lot of TV. I took a shower. I got around 45 minutes of sleep & was back at the hospital by noon.

At that point, another PA spoke with me. The CT scan hadn’t really shown anything. Neither had the EEG. We could wait, or we could make some heavy decisions.

The hard decision was the one eventually made.

My dad passed peacefully just after 2:30 pm on December 19, 2018.


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