The last day I spent with Dad was January 1, 2012
Jody, Mum and I alternated lying on the bed with him throughout the day. He was in a morphine induced haze mumbling incoherently with the occasional nonsensical phrase uttered very loudly, startling us with its clarity.
“Please Dad, look at me,” I silently begged. “Just one more time.” But his eyes, blue eyes so like mine that when I looked into them was like looking in a mirror, refused to open.
I gazed at the paleness of his still powerful arms. The cancer had moved so swiftly that the ever present tan on his forearms hadn’t yet faded. The white stripe on his left wrist was from the watch that he was never without except when he was sleeping. He had taken it off weeks ago. I couldn’t bear it. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I lay next to him, quietly weeping.
In the past, when I needed to be consoled, I would turn to Dad for a hearty bear hug, snug and secure against the bulk of his big belly. Now the belly, while still big, was swollen by the cancer that was ravaging his body. I couldn’t hug him, if I did, he would cry out in pain. I had to settle for holding his inert hand. My big, brave dad.
Mum recently told me that Dad told her to tell his girls to “be ready”. Mum thinks he was telling us to have our hearts ready for Heaven.
We have a different perspective. We think Dad was letting us know, just like when we were little, that he is leaving soon and are we, as the PA Dutchman says, “ready to went”?
Dad, impatient as always, couldn’t wait for us any longer so he went on ahead.
We will catch up eventually.