Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Day I Lost Him

The phone rang at about 5 after 5:00.  My mom.  She knew I'd just be leaving work.  It was a Wednesday, a day I had a softball game.  Indeed, I had just changed and was headed to the field.  There was nothing lost in digital translation as she spoke to me.  Her voice was as grave as I'd ever heard it.  "Come straight to the hospital," she said.  I kept asking why, why, please tell me why, but she wouldn't (for that I'll be forever thankful to her).  When she wouldn't tell me what was going on, I knew it was bad.  I called Brian and let him know of the abrupt change of plans, asked him to let our team know we wouldn't be there, asked him to meet me at the hospital.  Then I raced across town, crying and pleading with the universe to give me just one more chance. One more chance to talk to my dad, to have him call me George, his favorite nickname for me.  One more chance to see him alive.

When I walked into his hospital room, I knew it was over.  Immediately I lost it.  I vaguely remember my mom telling me when his body lost the fight to colon cancer, maybe she also said he went peacefully, or maybe she said that later.  Those initial moments are a bit of a blur.  I know that I wasn't expecting this, that I foolishly thought he could pull through, receive chemo and achieve remission.  Two weeks.  Just two weeks from D(iagnosis) to D(eath).  A life over at only 61 years old.  Leaving me, his youngest daughter, his baby, shattered and devastated.

Later that evening, I told my mom and my sisters that if I ever had a baby, I would name that child after him.  Surely, one of Calvin's middle names, Donato, was my dad's name.
I see a lot of my dad in his face
Before we left my father's room that night, I asked for some time alone with him.  I thanked him for taking care of me throughout my life, for the wonderful memories I have of him teaching me to play softball when I was 13 years old.  For all he did.  I promised him I would be happy.

I am making good on that promise, Dad.  Your grandson makes me indescribably, blissfully happy.  Even though I miss you so, so much every day, and it will always break my heart that you never got to meet Calvin, I know you're always with us, and your namesake will know you, because we'll tell him all about you.  You'll always be his Nonno.  And I'll always be your George.

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