I had an appointment for my mammogram this morning. I always schedule that at the cancer hospital across the bridge since I can just run over and come back. It takes less time than a lunch break since they are so efficient.
Its a beautiful building with marble floors and marble elevators; rounded walls that overlook the whole valley. The walkway is lined with large photographs from all over the world. And it is where my dad died 17 months ago..........
I know I have been up that way at least once or twice since then but this morning as I walked into the first hallway it brought back a flood of memories. Alot of them were good. I took my dad up to get lunch at the restaurant a few times. We walked slowly as its a long tunnel from one hospital to the next and talked about where we had been and where we would want to go. The photos are gorgeous!
I had met dad up there for a few of his appointments. We had talked about the possibilities and he was very positive that he would be OK. I wasn't but I didn't tell him.
Then there was that last week. I met him up there for the first (deadly) chemo treatment. Mom was there too this time and she was agitated. She doesn't like hospitals and sick people. It was during a time when she and I weren't really seeing eye to eye. She had hurt me and I was resentful. But I took her to lunch after we got dad settled. We spent two hours at lunch talking (good thing I am exempt). We cleared the air on a few things. She asked me if I thought he would live more than a year. I said no, most likely 6 months (I would have never thought six days). Then we went back and found out that they didn't have any good movies and he had gotten hooked up late so it would be about 4 more hours. I went and got a laptop from my office and got him set up on Netflix.
He made his final FB book that evening. He said he felt like the etrade baby being locked up all day.
The next time I went up there was the following Wed when we got the call that it was the end. At about 2 AM most of my sibs walked with me from that hospital to mine for the 24/7 Starbucks coffee. I still remember a lot of the conversations. The sadness but also the fact that we were all together. We too talked about the places we'd been and where we would like to go. (I think those pictures were put there for a reason)
Then at 10:27 AM after my out of state sister got here and said goodbye he slipped silently away with about 35 people in the room and the hallway. The police dept sent reps (he'd been their chaplain), our pastor was just a few minutes late, the bishop of the diocese made it just in time and said the final prayer, several cousins even made it in time. There we all stood in a circle around the bed praying the Our Father (it is the only time I have ever seen Fr. Dave cry) and letting him go. And then we all left in a daze..........
I think about that all the time. I still cry but not as much. I miss him terribly but have also moved forward. And yet walking in that hallway brought it all back. Luckily I was able to hold back my tears and not show up at mammography a bawling mess. I made it back to my office for that.