BYE NOW Part 1

I lost my father three months ago. I lost him in bits and pieces. Dementia. The disease of a thousand deaths. My father was once larger than life. It was painful to watch his world become smaller and smaller.

Dad

It was a hot, sunny Saturday in July and I was out with my guy on his Harley. We got back to his garage just in time. A thunderstorm delivered a deluge to our door. We sat in the safety of the garage watching the rain. I looked up through trees and clouds to the opening sky and had the strangest sensation. I was back sitting on the porch at my grandmother’s house looking out at the sky through the trees wondering where she’d gone. She had just passed away. I was seven.

Back at the garage, I checked my phone. I hadn’t heard the texts come in. They were from my sister, niece and nephew each one asking where I was. They had come in over the course of an hour, each more frantic than the previous. My family was used to me responding immediately.

I texted to say I was safe and asked what was going on. When I didn’t get a response, I called my sister. “Why don’t you come and see us?” She sounded so tentative, her tone odd, unlike her. I asked if everything was ok. She said, “Yeah, just… come and see us.”

I hung up and turned to my guy, “What’s going on?”

He put his hands on my shoulders, and looked into my eyes. “Your Dad is either free or they had to put him someplace where they can help him until he’s free. Are you gonna be okay with either of those things?”

I told him I had to be.

I had an idea what was going on. Dementia. I had felt my Dad’s body was strong, but his consciousness was leaving. At 6 foot 2, 220 pounds he was still a strong, strapping man. I say I felt his body was strong. Up until this week. It was only four days earlier I was sitting on the deck at my friend Patti’s house and told her, “My Dad doesn’t look good to me. I don’t think he’s gonna be here much longer. Can you check in and see what you get?”

Patti is a psychic and a medium, she talks to the dead. She closed her eyes, and very quickly opened them, “Oh,” she squinted into the sun, “Your mother is at your shoulder. She said she’s waiting for him now.”

As I drove to my Dad’s, I was thinking of this and wondering if it were true. My cousins from Kansas had been visiting their mother and spent some time with my Dad. They had just gotten on a plane to go home. I thought, “The boys are going to have to come right back here.”

As I had the thought, a butterfly flew across my windshield. My breath caught. And I knew. I knew he was gone. I started to cry. I hadn’t even gotten to say goodbye to him.

I figured my sister didn’t want to tell me because I had a 45-minute drive. This is exactly what she was trying to avoid – me crying behind the wheel.

When I arrived at Dad’s house, I saw a police car out front – further confirmation. When I walked in, my sister, niece, nephew and brother-law were all in the kitchen along with the cop. My sister was crying.

She nodded at me, “He’s gone.”

I went to walk through the kitchen and the officer blocked my way. I stopped, thinking how odd it was to be forbidden entrance to my Dad’s home by a stranger.

“You don’t want to see him like that,” my sister said, “You don’t want to remember him that way.”

I didn’t ask what way. I didn’t want to know.

We sat in the kitchen for an hour. Strung out and staring into space. It was so sudden and shocking. We knew he was sick, but Dementia can linger for years.

We started cleaning out the house the day after the funeral. None of us wanted to do it. I think we all knew the longer we waited, the more difficult it would be.

My Dad was a typical Italian patriarch. Very macho. His idea of showing me affection was punching me in the shoulder. He was so strong, he’d usually knock me off my chair.

He had so many keepsakes. His soft-heartedness was well hidden beneath his massive frame and tough talk.

“He kept every card we ever gave him,” my niece said. It was true.

I found a few I had written him for Father’s Day, before I’d even learned to spell. One reports, “If I had some moey I would have got you a gift just from me, but Mother took my moey and didn’t pay me back yet. Happy Father’s Day.”

Father's day card2

Dad is loud and boisterous even in his absence. The night he passed I woke abruptly at 4 am. Very heavy footsteps on the stairs. So loud I bolted upright in bed, heart flying. After a few deep breaths, I realized it was him and relaxed, “OK, Dad, I know you’re here….” He did it again a few minutes later for good measure. I slept with the lights on, the little girl in me wishing he could tuck me in. I miss his imposing physical presence. It always made me feel so safe. Dad lets me know in other ways he’s around. In my next blog, I’ll share how he showed up at the mall.

Corinne L. Casazza is an international best-selling author based in Boston, Massachusetts. Corinne believes that through creativity and humor, we all find our own inner light.

Check out Corinne’s Amazon Author page: www.amazon.com/author/corinnecasazza

Corinne’s Facebook Page includes tips for beginning writers.

For more information about Corinne, visit her Web site at CorinneCasazza.com

 

 

 

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Explore posts in the same categories: Corinne L. Casazza, Healing, Non-fiction, Processing emotions, Spirituality, Writing

3 Comments on “BYE NOW Part 1”

  1. Scott Powers Says:

    Nice. He must have been great. I hope my kids memorize my love for them like you have for your Dad. Bless him and you.

  2. Scott Powers Says:

    memorialize


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