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It was a beautiful morning in the beginning of July when I was woken up by my sister, Ashley’s phone. She must have been woken up by it too because her voice was hoarse as she said, “Hello?” I Stretched, took a deep breath, and managed to get out of bed. The air was humid that day. I walked past my sister’s room, to get to the kitchen to make some breakfast. She must have been talking to my dad, because her voice sounded excited.
I opened the empty fridge to see if we had any eggs. The coolness felt so good on my hot skin. I pulled out some eggs, butter, and salsa for my breakfast. It was such a peaceful morning. The windows were open and the birds were chirping. I went to open the cupboard to find a bowl to scramble my eggs, and there was a note from my mom. It explained why the house was so quiet. My mom, brother, and niece went out shopping and my step dad had work. As I start pouring my beaten eggs into the frying pan, my sister comes running into the kitchen with a burst of energy.
“Paige I just got off the phone with dad, and he wants to meet up sometime today.”
My father hasn’t been the greatest dad in the world. We haven’t seen him in five years. For as long as I could remember he has had a problem with drugs and alcohol. He would always call on our birthdays and some holidays, but that was about it. Though my dad had his addictions, he was a great person to be around. He would always joke around with us and have fun. Most of the time my dad would have a smile on his face and he would tell us how much he loved us. Lately my dad has been calling my sister and me on a regular basis, wanting to see us and catch up on things, but there was always something that got in the way. Today my sister and I had work, so we couldn’t go. So my sister said we would meet him on Wednesday.
It was Wednesday morning about 6:00 A.M. It was the night before; my mom had asked my sister to drive her to Wheaton Franciscans Hospital. Of course my sister asked me to go with her, we do everything together. Today was the day my mom had to go in for her back surgery. We got to the hospital and it smelt clean, unlike all the other hospitals that smell like dead people. My sister and me helped my mom up to her room and stayed with her for a while to make her feel comfortable. The nurses closed the curtain and took her blood. I was really nervous for my mom; I hoped the back surgery would take the pain away from her. My mom is a very happy person, you can never tell when she is stressed out, but with her back hurting she had pain in her eyes. I hated seeing what she didn’t deserve. My mom deserves nothing but the best.
About an hour an’ a half later, the nurses came. My sister and I gave her a kiss on her cold sweaty forehead. She must have been nervous too. The nurses wheeled my mom to her room to prep her for surgery. She had to stay at Wheaton for five long days. My sister and I left, feeling alone and uncomfortable without my mom with us. On our way home my sister told me our dad wanted to meet with us around one in the afternoon at some bar on 27th street.
It was about 12:00 in the afternoon. I was so tired from having to wake up so early. My sister was getting my neice ready to go visit her grandpa for the first time. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the bar. It took 20 minutes of it we were driving up and down 27th street trying to find this place. We pulled up to this little corner bar. It looked run down. All my nerves were building up, and memories running through my head. I could tell my sister was nervous too, because she was a little shakey. I didn’t know how to act at this point.
We walked into the bar. The smell was a dingy scent. There wasn’t many people there, so we spotted my dad out right away. I had a huge smile on my face. For a moment everything around me paused. There he was standing right in front of me. It has been nearly five years since I have seen him. He almost looked the exact same. His full head of now white and grey hair. I have his body type of a tall and full figured body with wide shoulders. I always hated that I got that trait from him. His smile was the same as mine too. It was nice and big showing all of his teeth. His big bloodshot brown eyes were staring at me, and im staring back. Nothing in the world mattered right now. I wanted to run up to him and just hold him tight. I couldn’t it was like I was have stage fright. He looked so surprised to see his grand-daughter and I. I don’t think my sister told him we were coming. I snapped out of my moment as he came up to me to give me a hug. I didn’t want to let go. He smelt the same, it was a mixture of cologn, whiskey, and cigarette smoke. I missed him so much, I didn’t want this moment to end
He had introduced us to his friend Jimmy. He called Jimmy his family. My dad being an addict didn’t really stay in contact with his real family, except for my grandma. It was so nice talking with him for hours and catching up on life. He seemed much more interested in Bella, my neice. He played with her on the game machines, just like he did with me when I was little. He took pictures with Bella on his cellphone, and saved it as his main screen. He also gave my sister some money to get her car fixed. I think he felt bad for not giving me any money so he gave me $100. After that he bought some food and told my sister to eat because she looked to skinny. She did lose a lot of weight due to stress. Three hours passed and it was time to go. Bella was getting fussy. We said our goodbyes, even though I didn’t want to. I hoped we could visit him again soon.
It was five days later at 2:30 in the afternoon going to pick my mom up from the hospital. She looked a little better today than she did all the other visits we did. She was still dozing in and out in the middle of conversations due to all the drugs she was on for pain. It was a scary scene because I have never seen her like that before. My mom could now walk around a little bit, but not much. This meant my sister and I had a lot more responsibility to do at home. It was hard getting her in and out of the car. When we established to do so, we put her in bed and didn’t allow her to do anything. That whole week we consisted of cooking, cleaning, gardening, taking care of Bella, working, and much more. I thought my life was hard before.
A week past and my mom was moving around a lot more. She should have been lying in bed, but she said it was getting boring. My mom always has to be doing something, and I think she was over doing it with her back. While my sister and I was helping my mom with laundry, my sisters phone wrang. It was my uncle Neal, and her face looked concerned, that couldn’t be good. After she hung up the phone, my sister pulled me aside. My uncle had told her that my dad has been admitted to the ICU at St. Lukes hospital. Now we know why he hasn’t called for a couple of days. My uncle said that we should go visit him as soon as possible because he didn’t look very good. My stomach dropped and felt very ill. This can’t be happening right now! I just started talking to my dad a couple of months ago. I also just got my mom out of the hospital and now my dad is in the hospital. I just kept asking myself, why?
The next day my sister an I went to the hospital. We asked my brother to go, but of course he didn’t want to. My brother hated my dad for the past and never got over it. When we got to the hospital we walked slow through out it because hospitals scare me. My heart was beating faster and faster the closer we got. We had to wait for someone to let us into the ICU, because only family was allowed in. It felt like it took forever. When the assisstent opened the door to enter the ICU section of the building it felt like I had a minny heart attack because of all the intense beeping. We got to his door and looked at eachother before we could open it. Took a deep breath and held hands as we opened the door slowly.
There he was laying there so fragile. My dad looked so skinny and lifeless. He was hooked up on oxygen and just laying there lifeless. His body was covered in a blanket even though it was so hot in his room. He looked so skinny and gragile. I was speechless, nothing would come out of my mouth, and when I was about to say something, the nurse interrupted and told us we needed to put a smock, gloves, and hat on. Right then and there I was thinking to myself, this is my dad I don’t need to wear that! My heart was pounding and I was definitely shaking. He looked at me and smiled. A tear fell down my face. His eyes, there was something about them that day. They were white the whitest I have ever seen them. That’s what I remember the most. He told us to come over by him so I could give him a hug. My sister was too afraid, she just stood there frightened. He could barely lift his arms to give me a hug but he managed. He gave me a kiss on the cheek. Finally my sister moved in. she must have knocked the clip off his finger because the machine started outrageously beeping. Shortly after a nurse came in the room followed by a doctor.
The doctor introduced himself to us and explained that there was a blockage in the main artery to his heart. Only 25 percent of his heart was working and he was going to need surgery. They also mentioned that when my dad (James) was brought into the hospital he wasn’t responding to anything he had no pulse or heartbeat. My dad had died for 3 minutes and they brought him back. The doctor had left and right away my dad was cracking jokes. That’s one thing I loved about my dad, he always made a joke about everything. I turned around to look at my sister. She was white as a ghost and sweaty. She went to go sit down on a couch that was on the opposite side of my dads bed. The machine was starting to beep again I didn’t know what to think. My dad kept talking and my sister ran out of the room. As she was leaving, she blurted out, “I’m sorry dad, I cant do this.” A nurse caught her in the hallway as she fainted. I sat by her for a while, but I had to go say bye to dad. She told me she couldn’t get up right now, so I told dad bye for her. He didn’t want us to leave, and I didn’t want to tell him about my sister. My heart was pounding out of my chest, he just kept asking why? I gave him a huge hug good-bye.
A week an’ a half they released my dad out. He would call us every day at least five times. Then it was a Saturday morning about 8:45. I was on my way home from my friend’s house. My sister would have got me, but we were fighting over nothing that day. On my way home I get a phone call, it was my step dad, it was odd because he never really calls me he usually just texts me or has my mom call if he needs something. When I answered the phone I said “hello?” In my quiet little voice. When my step dad starts to talk I could tell something was wrong. He says “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this.” Right then and there I knew it was something bad I heart sunk to the bottom of my stomach, I felt it. “Your dad passed away last night in his sleep.” I hung up the phone, my body hot numb. My brain was racing. Why would the hospital let him go. I thought he was getting better. I was angry and upset. Right then I broke down. I put my arms around my legs, put my head down, and rocked back and forth. My dad is dad, but it didn’t feel like it. I didn’t understand, and now I was asking myself, “Why?” My friend Haley just wrapped her hands around me I lifted up my head and hugged her back. I was just staring out of the window at the beautiful bright blue sky with no clouds visible. I got home and ran to my room. I never felt this way before. I never knew what it would feel like to lose someone that has brought you into this world. I now have to live with this the rest of my life.
That night it was 5:00 and my brother, sister, and I were invited to my dad’s brother’s house. That day my grandma has made her homemade spaghetti. It was a Sunday and it was the day my dad was supposed to come over for dinner. My grandma made that dinner only for him, it was his favorite.
I remember his funeral like it was yesterday. My dad was cremated and all of us sprinkled him over his brother and dad’s grave. I remember when it was my turn; I was extremely shaky and nervous thinking “what if I mess up.” When I got done sprinkling his ashes over the two special stones I started walking back by my mom, brother, and sister, I noticed my Uncle (my dads best friend) walking around fidgeting with his hat. That day was the first time I’ve ever seen him cry, it was the hardest thing to see. My dad and Uncle would always work on cars, cabinets, boats and whatever else they found to fix. My dad even put in a whole new electrical unit downstairs in my Uncles basement. August 23rd, 2010 was the hardest day of my life.
April 25th, 2012 of this year was the last time my dad stopped to say hi. It’s crazy how spirits say there hello’s. April 25th is my dads birthday and my sister was over by my aunt’s doing laundry like she does every other week. I was on my way home from school until my sister called me asking if I could come get Bella (my niece). When I got to my Aunts house I sat down on the couch waiting for my sister to come upstairs from the basement. She was taking forever so I quickly ran down there to see what she was doing. When I got into the laundry room my sister was taking her clothes out of the dryer. When she shut the dryer all of the lights, the radio, the washer, everything, stopped working. When my Uncle came home and my sister told him what happened, all he did was smile and said “your dad was just stopping to say hello.” At that time my sister and I didn’t know that my dad put the electricity in downstairs.
At that moment I knew my dad never left mine, my sisters, or brothers’ side. I now have my own guardian angel that will never leave my side.