I don't know if I will even be able to get thru this blog. Just starting it has my hands shaking and the tears pouring down my round cheeks.
On the 21st, Nana (my Mum's Mum) had her foot partially amputated. She had been in the hospital for 2 weeks prior with some serious issues and had already had two toe amputations during the two weeks. Mum was at the hospital all day.
On the 22nd, Mum spent the whole day with Nana at the hospital again. Nana kept telling my Mum to go home and spend some time with her husband. She had been at the hospital at least 6 hours every day that Nana was in there.
Mum got home later and my Dad had made her dinner. They ate and watched Boston Legal on the Tivo. She got up when it ended and went into the bathroom to start getting ready for bed. She was in the bathroom 20 minutes when he dogs started barking. She was agitated that my Dad wasn't quieting them. She walked around the corner yelling, "Thomas! Shut the dogs up!" and saw him laying in an odd place on the floor. She thought he was playing one of the dog's favourite games, so she walked over and smacked him. He was ice cold.
While the paramedics were on their way, the 911 operator walked her through CPR. As soon as the paramedics arrived and started working on him, she phoned me. I had NO idea what she was saying... it was 11:13pm and I had already fallen asleep. I just KNEW that I had to get there and in my heart I knew why. I drove a mere 80 mph to her house and saw as they were lifting him into the back of the ambulance. There was no urgency. There was no rush. I knew he was gone.
Andy wouldn't answer his phone so I called Jessica. She woke him. He called me as I was walking into Mum's- he was pissed off at me.
"What the f- is going on."
"Andy, you need to get here... NOW."
"I will, but you need to tell me what the f-is going on. I just woke up."
"Andy, get here. I'm pretty sure Dad is dead."
"Why the f-would you say that? Don't be stupid."
"Get here... NOW."
After a few minutes of looking for Dad's wallet the ambulance finally left. I got Mum into my car. She was in shock; terrified. I watched the sky as I drove. Looking at the clouds, the moon, the few stars I could see. I nattered on and on and on about them... trying to keep my mind clear so I didn't kill Mum and I on the way.
When we got there, they took us to the conference room. That only means one thing. They pronounced him dead at 11:59. They said it was a heart attack. His heart just stopped. It was instant.... no pain. We couldn't pull Mum from his side. She wouldn't leave him. She couldn't leave him. They met when they were 15... high school sweethearts. You don't find your soul mate at 15 years old....
My Dad and I didn't always have the greatest relationship, but we loved each other. He and I always vexed one another. Neither of us could walk away from an argument; we always had to get the last word in. His jokes were terrible and I would always tell him to stop telling them. He was always on my case about stealing from him... if something cost $29.86 and he gave me $30, he would ALWAYS demand the change I was "trying to steal."
However, we had our documentary's, getting the pleasure of rubbing Udder Balm on his dry feet, random knowledge brought us close, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, smoked turkeys at every chance, "Little Girl, live your life by A Charlie Brown Christmas and you will always find happiness," astronomy, meteor showers (especially Orionids), watching Alton Brown cook and dry humour of Good Eats, MythBusters.... October through January we were side by side. Deciding he would be called "Gramps" and from that moment on, all the vexing of earlier years washed away.
Keely took his death VERY hard. She cried and cried and cried. Her relationship with him was EXACTLY like mine. Those two butted heads NON STOP. The day he died, he had picked the kids up from school just because he wanted to. They had their typical day together. This is all she can fixate on; "Gramps said I had a red-day at his house just like I did at school."
Colin tried so so hard to understand. He's taking it pretty badly, too. He and his Gramps were best buddies. They played Mr. Potato Head all the time. It was something special they did with each other. He said he never wants to play Potato Head again.
THOMAS ALLEN DAMIANO