Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pappy

I don't often post personal journal entries, but today is an exception.  It has been 1 year since my Daddy died.

I am not fond of all the phrases folks use..."passed, passed away, left us".  Call it what you want, try to make it sound better, but it is the same.  Pappy died a year ago.  For the past 6 weeks I seemed to relive the days all over.  Remembering on this day I shaved him with his electric razor, on another day he insisted on doing it by himself.

I remember the ache of seeing him weaken, unable to do the simple things.  Having to use a child's "sipper" cup so he could take a drink.  I still have that cup in my dresser.  I think of him and his dignity each time I see it.  I remember holding his hand that last time, placing his hand on his old dog and knowing he moved, knowing he felt that dog one more time.

One morning my Mom called early - before 6:00 am.  Daddy had tried to get out of bed and into his wheelchair by himself.  He didn't want to sleep in the hospital bed.  He fell to the floor beside the bed - a short distance, and could not get up,  she was unable to lift him.  I drove as quickly as I could and found them sitting together...him on the floor and my Mom with her legs behind him so he would not fall over.

It was all I could do to get him up.  That was the worst day of my life till then.  I don't know why it hurt me so bad to see him like that, unable to even get back in bed.  I knew I was going to lose him, but that day made it real.

I didn't get there before he died.  I wanted to get a little treasure box for all of us to put things in and I talked to the nurse.  She said he was resting and didn't expect him to get worse for a while.  Less than half an hour later he was gone.

I don't know that it would have been different if I were there.  I guess I wanted to tell him I loved him one more time.  He wasn't one to tell you that.  Most of the time he said, "Same here".  As he was dying he told us over and over that he loved us.  Never said it first, but always responded, "I love you too".

And he did.

I miss you Jimmie Hollen.  I love and respect you.

Your son
Stevie
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