December 8, 2008

So yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my father's passing. It was a horrible day. The only good thing about it is last year the temperature was warmer where I was.

I was in California trying to get my dad's estate organized because he was on life support in the hospital and the doctors refused to cooperate with the family so as it looked like he would be there indefinitely we were planning on heading home. We had already been down for five weeks by this time. The doctors said he was not going to come off life support but because of outside influences the hospital would not move him to comfort care where he could pass away with dignity and with his family surrounding him. While my mother and I were taking care of his business so we could keep his house up and running from Canada my dad laid in his hospital bed alone. Only the sounds of the ventilator and cooling blanket for company.

Traffic sucked on the 580. There was a big accident and it literally took us an hour to drive a mile. We were tired, driving from Fremont to Discovery Bay is a long trek with good traffic, but when you are in bumper to bumper traffic it is horrendous. We stopped at a Target to do some shopping (I love Target, why is there not one in Canada?!?!) I bought some Christmas presents and some clothes. It was of a small comfort to do some retail therapy. We got back to my father's house in Discovery Bay and fixed supper. My friend Darlene came over with her children and we had a little supper. I had forgotten my cell phone in the truck so after Darlene had left I went to go grab it. Not because I thought any one had called but I was hoping for some text messages from home. I looked at my phone and there was a voicemail on it.

The voicemail was from the hospital, the Kaiser in Antioch, telling me to please call them as soon as I could. That seemed strange and a large pit developed in my stomach. I knew without being told that my father had passed away, however, I am very optimistic and I was hoping they had called to say they were moving him to comfort care and could we please come. My hopes were for naught. I reached the ICU department and they transferred my call to someone who's job it is to let the families know their loved ones have passed (I would hate that job). They told me that at 7:05 my father had opened his eyes, looked around the room, took one last breathe and then his heart failed. The only one in the room at the time was a nurse. There was no family around he passed on alone. And that still kills me to this day.

Needless to say I cried, huge sobbing cries wracked my body. Chandler hugged me and my mom hugged me, but I was so sad. It was hard, and it has been a hard year. I would have cancelled Christmas if were not for Chandler and him needing some normalcy in his life after the retched two months we had just gone through.

Throughout this year many positive things have happened. There have been many happy moments, but at the same time there is a dark cloud hanging over them because I can't share these moments with my father. My father who was so proud of me, who I didn't always appreciate but I did always love him. I miss him and I know he is watching out for his family that is still on Earth because he was a control freak like that. I know he has shared in my joys this past year and in my sorrows it just sometimes hurts that I can't just pick up the phone and call him like I used too.

So with the passing on the first year all I can say is things start taking on a feeling of being normal again, but they never go back to what it was like before. You never forget the passing of a loved one, it gets easier because the pain ebbs a little you get used to feeling that pain, but it's always there. We just learn to live with it. I hope that Christmas starts becoming easier for me, but it is still a holiday I am no longer very excited about because the beginning of December just brings in so many sad memories.


  1. i am so sorry jen, i can't imagine how difficult that must've been. It made me cry just reading it. My thoughts are with both you and chandler today as you remember your father and his grandpa. he would be so proud to see how well this year has gone for you and your family and is watching down from heaven with great happiness and pride.

  2. I cried too! I am so fortunate to have both my parents in my life, and it often takes them leaving us for us to realize how important they are to our lives. I hope you know that, just like he is here with you always, you were there in that room with him too. Don't beat yourself up, you did everything you could and you were there for him as much as you could be.


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