I have been writing a lot recently about the difficulty that I have been having. Anxiety over raising my daughter, the stress of it, the sheer panic that I get that I am doing something wrong. Well, unfortunately things have gotten worse. On February 22 my father passed away. He was 74 years old and died in his sleep, I am thankful that he passed in his sleep and did not suffer as so many people do. My father had COPD but seemed to be doing well, He was home from the rehabilitation center and starting to get things in order. He was a recovering alcoholic who lived a very hard life. He was a musician in his younger days and lived the life a musician for a while. He had beat cancer and we thought his health was improving. He was learning how to take control of his finances and was even planning different outings and events with his children and grandchildren. He was so excited for spring to arrive because it meant he could leave the house and visit with his family. We had so many lunch dates planned and so many place we were going to go. So many things that he wanted to do. Sadly, my father did not get to see spring arrive, or have the lunches that he had so looked forward to, save for one. Two weeks before he passed away, my husband and I took our 3 month old daughter to meet her pop-pop for the first time. The weather a little nicer and my father had gotten over his cold. So we stopped at Wendy’s (he loved their burgers) and brought Fiona to him. We only spent 1 hour with him. We ate lunch, did a few things for him around the house that he couldn’t do but most importantly he got to meet his youngest granddaughter. He made he laugh and she made him laugh. It is my final memory of him. The giant smile he had on his face when she smiled at him. I regret that I did not take any pictures of them that day. I would have loved to have had a photo of Fiona with her pop-pop. But I was so in the moment and enjoying seeing them together that I didn’t think to take any. All I have is the memory of seeing them together on which to hold.
Now as I help my brother put all of his affairs to rest I am left with a hole in my heart that I can’t seem to fill. My whole life I was “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Daddy’s Princess.” When we left him after lunch the last day were together the last he said to me was, “I love you Princess.” That is what he always called me. I am 33 years old and my father still called me princess! I will never “Princess” again.
People have asked me if he was sick or was it expected or was it sudden. Yes he was sick but it is always sudden. Even if the doctor tells you to be prepared it is still sudden. A child is never ready to say goodbye to a parent.
I will miss the phone calls at random times of day just because he was thinking of his “Princess.” I will miss deciphering his writing because he was not a very good speller. I will miss the errands he would send me on to pick him up little things. I will miss the scruffy kisses on my cheek he would me when we said hello and goodbye. I will miss his voice when he would sing to me. I will miss his scent. I will miss knowing he was just around the corner. I will miss him more than words can express.
I love you Daddy! You will always be in my heart and never out of my mind! Rest in peace and keep making beautiful music in Heaven.