My father lost his battle today. When I drove here yesterday, I knew that he would not ever be cured of his illness, but I did expect we would recover enough to go home. Over the less than 24 hours I was here with him, my mother and my sister, it became clear he was not going to get better and he was declining fast.
It was time to let him go. He had been sick for a long time. His body was so battered and tired. He had lost the will to go on.
My dad was no wussy. When I say he has been sick for a long time I am talking about decades. A string of problem over the years that alone would not have been so bad, but he either had them at the same time or in rapid succession. Yet, he found the strength to work a 50 hour work week. He was constantly fixing things around the house. Working on the cars. Taking care of this and that. All of it with a cloud of sickness hanging over his head.
He never complained. He never stopped. He just did what he had to do to give my mom, my sister and me a good life.
Now he was done. He simply could not fight on anymore. He was ready to die. We let him go.
We told he doctors. They agreed and made some final preparations. When they were done, they led us into his room. He was sort of sitting up. He was not aware of our presence since he was sedated. He was breathing on his own but it was irregular. The doctors assured us he was comfortable and would not be feeling any pain.
His breathing stopped. Then started again. It was like watching someone with sleep apnea, when they stop breathing briefly as they sleep.
Then he took his last breath.
I watched the color drain from his face. I had never seen someone die before. I hope I never see it again.
My dad was gone. He was not in pain anymore. He was free.
I will miss my dad. He was a really smart guy and we had lots of good conversations. I was not very close to him as a kid, but the relationship improved a lot once I became an adult. Before he got very sick, he made an effort to be a good grandfather to my kids, and my sister's kids. He would get on the floor and play trains or cars with them. My kids will miss their Papa.
When I came out, he accepted me right away. He met T the next day and commented to me privately that he thought T was a, "nice young man". (At the time T was 41)
This coming Saturday would have been his 68th birthday.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
Most of the images used in my blog I found floating around the Internet. I believe, in good faith, that they are either public domain, or my non-commercial use falls under fair use guidelines. If, however, you are the are the copyright owner of any image and wish me to remove it, please contact me and I will do so as quickly as possible