It’s been just over 2 years since my father passed away. In some ways I think I’m still adjusting to it. I guess I always will be. The thing I will always be grateful for is that my father died quickly. For a man with diabetes and heart disease for most of his adult life, that’s a blessing.
He was out in California on an extended business trip. My mother was going to go for a visit, but they had decided to hold off until business took him to Vegas the following month and meet up there. A few days before my father called and said that he changed his mind and wanted her to come. When mom arrived they decided to pick up a small TV for the apartment he where he was staying. He collapsed in the parking lot while carrying it in. He died almost instantly. My mother did CPR and they cracked his chest in the ER (Which my father would think is REALLY cool) but he was gone. Quick and easy.
The TV was fine, thank you for asking. From my understanding it’s still there. the apartment is owned by the company and has a rotating group of people living in it who worked with my father. The [Dr. Baffled’s Father] Memorial TV. Fuck park benches and hospital wings, dad got a TV. When I arrived in California my dad’s boss mentioned that the TV we were watching was THE TV. Dad’s boss said, “Your father died so that we could sit here and watch this television,” and we all started laughing. That’s what we do in my family. We laugh.
I’m gonna close by posting the eulogy I wrote for my father. Not that you need to read it, but I want to post it.
I remember around the time my father had his second bypass we had a conversation about it. He had said that the doctors told him that the grafts typically last 10-13 years. He figured that if he could push off this second bypass until his mid-to-late 50’s that would bring him to the late 60s, early 70s. I remember him saying, “That’s all I could really ask for.” It seemed odd at the time and I was puzzled by the sentiment.
People remember Daddy as a warm and kind man. He was a family man and he loved to entertain. He had an amazing sense of humor and was always ready with a joke. These are some of the things we love and remember best about him.
Daddy used to walk up to [Sister Baffled #1] and call her “Ugly,” and she would say she looked just like him. Daddy would say, “Yeah, but that’s not bad for a man.”
When I was in fifth grade we had to memorize all 50 states and capitols. While my father was helping me study for the test he looked at me and said that it was much easier to memorize everything when he was in school because there were only 13 states. I went to school the next day and told my teacher how my dad remembered when there were only 13 states. My teacher started laughing and told me that it couldn’t be true. I got upset and told him it had to be true because Daddy wasn’t a liar.
The morning after [Crazy brother-in-law] proposed to [Sister #2] he asked her to make him a cup of coffee. She said that no one in the family let her make coffee. Paul told her how he liked his coffee and Jessica made a pot. Just as he said it was good, Daddy came into the kitchen, asked if the coffee was fresh and poured a cup. He hated it. Said it tasted like dish water and poured it out. Jessica told him that Paul thought it was good. Daddy said, “Paul is going to spend the next 50 years with you, he has to drink your coffee. I’m getting rid of you, I don’t have to drink it.”
Daddy died at the age of 67. 39+ years after they first got married. 38 years after he witnessed the birth of his first child, almost 35 years after the second. More than 33 years after he almost missed the birth of his son. 25 years after his first bypass. 10 years after the birth of his first granddaughter. More than 5 years after marriage of his youngest child. 17 months after the birth of his first grandson. 8 months after I became a fully licensed physician. Nearly 15 years after his second bypass. With mom by his side. That’s all we could really ask for.