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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dark Mornings

Category: Life Winners, Issue 4

I hated Saturday mornings because my wife and I had to be at work so early in the morning along with the fact we worked so late on Friday nights. When my mother started knocking on our bedroom door at six AM all I wanted to do was rollover and go back to sleep. I almost did until I heard her say, almost cry out; “Come see what is wrong with your father.”

When I stepped into my parent’s bedroom I knew right away that something was wrong. My mother was standing in the corner looking pale and my father was lying in bed looking even paler. I looked at the wolf’s head tattoo on his chest and noticed it wasn’t moving. I had no doubt at that point that my father had died in the night. I knew I had to check for a pulse to confirm what my mother feared and I already knew. I went to my father and checked for a pulse. His flesh was cold, he had no pulse and his chest did not rise and fall as it should.

I looked back for my mother but she had left the room. I walked out into the hallway and saw her standing at the other end. She was wringing her hands so forcefully I could actually see them change color as the blood was forced out of her fingers and palms. I went to her and held her as I told her that her husband, my father, had died. My wife came out of our bedroom at that point asking what was going on. She heard me repeating myself to my mother and knew. They both began crying and I began the painful job of trying not to cry. My mother asked me to take her back to the bedroom so she could say goodbye. I held her up as best as I could and led her there with my wife by our side the entire time.

It was odd seeing my father lying there on his back that way. His arms were at his sides and his legs were straight with the bed sheet covering him to the middle of his chest. I expected to see either a smile or scowl on his face but there was neither, just a neutral expression. It was the same expression I saw when I looked at him time and again. Not an expression of pride or of disappointment but an expression that stayed at the front of my mind the rest of the day.

My wife and I tried to avoid the pain by going to work that morning. I believe we both secretly hoped our supervisors would be sympathetic and send us home. We were both wrong and neither of us made it through the day without breaking down in tears. The hardest part was that we worked in different departments and couldn’t be there for each other.

A year later we both took the day off from work and dedicated the day to reflecting on good memories and supporting each other when the sad memories surfaced. I don’t cry any more but I still feel the loss. The lessons I learned from my father’s death are probably the best he ever taught me. You should never suppress your feelings and you should always let your loved ones know that you love them.

Posted by thetraveler on 07/25 at 08:07 PM | Permalink
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