I never realized how devastating losing a parent would be. Even though my dad was 84 and had Alzheimer's Disease, the real impact did not hit me until the actual event. I watched my husband lose both of his parents and was very sad for him (and myself because I really cared for his parents) but it did not prepare me for the loss of my own dad. It's comparable to having a baby in the sense that you can watch others go through the event but never really know the impact until you have your own child. The loving part is the same.
Even with all my dad's shortcomings I realize that I loved him and was proud of him. There were times that I hated him (as a teenager) but I don't think he ever stopped loving me. I got my silly sense of humor from him and my laissez-faire parenting style. There was always the threat of "wait till your father gets home" but he could never spank us and always had a laugh or smile just below the surface.
I said my last good-byes right before Thanksgiving when I was able to fly across country to see him in the nursing home. He kept falling asleep in his wheelchair and my brother and I finally asked the nurse to just put him to bed. All day long my dad barely said a word and it was uncertain whether or not he recognized us.We were flying home that evening and I just wanted some sign or glimmer of recognition. They laid him in his bed and I leaned over to kiss his cheek and said "Bye, I love you". I could feel him kissing my cheek and heard him whisper "I love you". I knew at that moment that he was aware that I came to visit and felt that he know me.
I love you Dad. I can hear your laughter if I listen for it. I hope you are somewhere happy.
Rest in Peace (Owen Myrddin Davies 5-31-29 to 1-8-14)