Last year March 14, 2016 grandma was laid to rest with a funeral mass I couldn’t understand. Family and friends all gathered around with tears in their eyes. But many didn’t know what would come next.
Other than this, life was ordinary. Everyone went about their business after sharing a meal. My brotherhood an invite to a family’s house. He just came from out of town.
Rather than waiting for morning to visit, he went close to 9PM. Dad invited me saying he wanted to visit his brother. I knew very well the real reason. After all, if he wanted to visit his brother, he would have waited until morning. I refused to go telling him I wasn’t invited. I was there when brother told them of his invite earlier. I live here and never get invited. He comes to visit and they invite him, no one else. After couple more tries and still not giving in, I watched them all walk out the door and into the car- dad in passenger side with his portable oxygen machine, brother in back seat, mom in driver side. She drove the RAV4.
As they drove away, I closed the door to what would be the last moments shared with Dad at home. Earphones on, I spent my time at home alone listening to music, drowning out life.
Few minutes later I removed my earphone and heard our home phone. But when I picked it up, the call had ended. Then, my cousin called me on my cell phone telling me the news calmly. Their car didn’t even make it on the highway. Mom had made a wide turn and drove into a pole.
Mom got out of the hospital with a fractured elbow and brother got out with bruises and pain. Dad spent two weeks in the hospital before he passed away, Tuesday March 22, 2016 at 3:29AM. He had a neck fracture due to the accident. However, if the doctors hadn’t waited to give him a correct neck brace, he would have been in rehab. Rather, they made him wait one extra day.
His doctors he usually sees preferred him not to stay in a hospital for too long because he would catch pneumonia quickly. That one extra day of waiting came. The doctors changed his neck brace finally. He was ready to be moved.
So it seemed.
He started saying he wasn’t feeling good. The nurses held back on his transferring to a rehab due to that. That night he developed coughing. At one point he had fainted or something and one nurse panicked calling code red unable to get a pulse. I wasn’t there at the time.
They moved him to an ICU room where’d he’d spend his last week. He had chest pains. I don’t know how his heart managed. Only one side vessel was working for him. And he went through all this. Sometimes heart attacks that weren’t heart attacks occurred.
The last we talked was the Friday before they put him to sleep so a machine can breathe for him and he can relax. Saturday morning after that last talk, he had a heart attack. Mom, brother, and I were home when she got the call.
I watched him lay on the hospital bed breathing to a tube. Sunday they decided to do a cooling/warming process. Cooling went fine. But when the warming process began Monday morning, he slowly deteriorated away. His kidneys were failing. His heart was the last to give up. Tuesday, 3:29AM he took his last breath off the machine.
All I keep thinking, the only thing that gives comfort is that he is no longer suffering. I saw on his computer some videos. He learned how to use camera all by himself two years before he passed. He had some videos on there from two years and previous year and the month before he passed.
That last video sent chills down my body as I watched him sleep on his chair for ten minutes before he woke and turned the camera off.
His first video of him finding out about camera, he called mom over to see. They were amazed they could see themselves. He didn’t want to wake me for I was asleep in bed. He never told me and I wished he did. I don’t know.
I feel like ever since he has passed, him and his memories are fading. I don’t know how to keep his memories alive. I feel alone in this house because he is not here to talk to.
When I was sick, even though I was too old for story time, he’d still tell me a story, which would help me forget about my pain and drift off to sleep. The stories would be bible related. If not, then it would be about a rabbit and it’s tail.
Today marks his one year and looking back most of what happened feels so vague in my mind. I wrote this down maybe to have some sort of recollection.