I took this photo of my father about a year or so before he passed. My stepmother was in the hospital overnight for a procedure so I was called down to keep him company. We enjoy an lovely evening together talking and laughing over pizza. I remember thinking that it had been ages since we spent time alone. Maybe even decades.
It was sweet.
At the beginning of this year my father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. It seemed to come out of nowhere and like the complete fucker that cancer is its swath was swift and cruel.
Sunday - January 22, 2012: I was with him for the weekend. It seemed obvious that he only had a few days left. I needed to go home and square some things and the plan was that I'd take the train back to San Diego on Tuesday and stay to the end.
My father was sitting in great discomfort in his recliner as I left that morning. I fought back tears as I squeezed him tightly and kissed his forehead. I told him that I loved him and that, "I'll see you Tuesday. OK?" He nodded, tentatively.
The train car I was on back to Los Angeles was mostly empty. Thankfully, because I wept softly most of the way up the coast. I had a thought that maybe I should have just stayed but I needed to take care of a few things and I'd be back the day after. Well...
Monday - January 23, 2012: My father passed away in the 5PM hour. My stepmother called with the news. Straight-away I went numb. If she and I had a conversation I don't have any memory of it. I do remember after we ended the call thinking, "Fuck, I really wanted to see him again."
I sat slump-shouldered on the couch feeling hollowed-out, drained, zapped. After a few minutes I lifted my head and I whispered to nothing in particular, "Goodbye, pop. I'm sure am gonna miss you."
And I do. And not just on special days like to today but daily.