What a day….
It began at 5am in Panama City when we awoke to catch a cab to the airport. After checking in for flights and enjoying a breakfast of champions at Dunkin Donuts, we flew to Denver. I immediately checked in with family on my sweet Dad’s status. From what they were saying, we knew he was getting close to the end, as all organs had shut down, leaving only his heart to try keep his body going. It made him happy to know that Danny and I were traveling as fast as we could from Panama and my brother, Jan, was traveling as fast as he could from Texas.
It was tough saying goodbye to Aundrea in Denver. We got her to her gate to fly to Salt Lake City, kissed her many times and gave her more hugs than she’d ever wanted. She is such an Angel and we have loved having her with us in Panama. If we had our way, we would never let her go!
Danny and I boarded our final flight, which was to Idaho Falls, and just before taking off, my sister called to say my Dad had just passed away. 3pm exactly. I was so very very sad, and felt terrible that we hadn’t made it in time. I cried in Danny’s arms for a good chunk of the flight and looked out at the billowing clouds below us, thinking of him.
Our good friend, ZoAnn, picked us up at the airport and brought us here to Firth, where my Father’s body lay waiting in his bed, so we could say our last goodbyes. When I walked into my Mom and Dad’s room, I was so overcome with absolute despair, I lay next to my Dad and held him, kissed his face and cried. I held his hands that had held me, and cried some more. I stroked his forehead and spoke quietly to him and felt completely inconsolable. I have never felt such absolute sadness. One does not know what it means to be brokenhearted, until they have lost someone that they have loved so deeply. I lay my head on his chest, wishing to hear his heart beat just one more time, but it never came. My sweet sister and mother, cried with me. After Jan arrived, the funeral home director arrived to take my Dad and I felt panic, realizing this would be the last time I was going to be able to put my arms around him, and touch his face. Watching them take his body sent me spiraling to a deeper level of absolute sadness, and then as a family we all stood in the driveway and watched him drive off for the last time.
At my mother’s request, at that point we all walked down to the cemetery close to the house where Daddy will be buried. As we walked, Bernadine pointed up and said ‘look everyone,’ and we looked and saw a cloud that was shaped much like an Angel with a halo over its head.
It hung proudly in the sky right above the cemetery.
My nephew will be getting married on Saturday, and Daddy requested that his funeral be on Thursday so that it was over a couple days before the wedding so everyone can move forward and embrace that happy occasion. Even in his last wishes he continued to think of everyone but himself. My Father is the most thoughtful, insightful and kind individual I’ve ever known. I love him so much and I am so grateful that i continue to feel him so close.