One year ago today I looked into my dad’s eyes for the last time. One year. Where has the time gone? I spend most of the time remembering….
I remember how small and weak and tired my dad was. I wasn’t used to seeing my strong, capable, independent dad like that.
I remember the long periods of visiting him where he didn’t seem to know who I was. He was talking to me – sometimes in zulu – but only the last 15 or 20 minutes did it really seem like he knew who I was. I remember the first Monday that he was in ICU I couldn’t get to the visiting hours in the morning. When I got there in the evening he looked at me with huge eyes and says “I’ve been looking for you the whole day”. It broke my heart.
I remember my dad talking about and to my mom often. Sometimes he would refer to me by my mom’s nickname. He always seemed at peace and I knew that the thought of ‘being with my mom’ gave him some comfort.
I remember feeling so bad for him. I couldn’t imagine how hard it had to be for him. In less than a month my dad went from a strong, fit man who didn’t need help from anyone to a man who needed help to drink from a glass, sit up, bath. I knew he was in pain. I knew he was uncomfortable. I would give anything to have taken that away for him. I knew my dad didn’t have much time but I had no idea how little time he had.
Most of all, I remember telling my dad every day that I loved him. I remember him telling me he loved me too. I remember being loved. I remember how we would always to try help if he could.
I remember how excited he was when we told him we were going to adopt. He bought nappies.
One year ago today. I remember being 4 minutes late to look into his eyes one last time. I remember standing next to his bed and feeling bad for all the other people that had to hear me cry. I remember feeling like I wanted to run away and it wouldn’t be real. I remember the moment when Willie walked in and I felt relief. I needed him. I remember asking the nurse to please turn the machine off but she wasn’t allowed to.
I remember the love.
I miss you dad. One long year but it feels like yesterday. You are always here. You are always remembered. You are always loved.