Sunday, July 01, 2007

16 weeks and a difficult anniversary

Tomorrow (in about an hour!) I'll be 16 weeks pregnant. I have an appointment late in the morning and while I don't anticipate there being anything wrong, I'm always a little worried. Until I hear that heartbeat again, I will be holding my breath.

Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of my Dad's death. 5 years ago tomorrow I was living 14 hours from my parents, for the first time in my life. My husband was in training and we had planned to make the drive home for the 4th of July, my Dad's favorite holiday. We had to wait until my husband's classes finished for the week, which would have been on the 3rd. We planned to drive straight through so we could be home for the 4th. On the morning of July 2nd, I got a phone call from my Mom that she had found my Dad dead in his chair downstairs. He was only 52. They didn't do an autopsy but the assumption was made that he probably had a massive heart attack or an embolism. Supposedly he went peacefully, because he was found sitting in his chair the way he always did, just no longer breathing. By the time my Mom found him, he was cold and nothing could be done. He had been dead for several hours.

To this day I wonder if things could have been different. I almost didn't go with my husband for his training. It came up at the last minute and our anticipated move got pushed back. If I hadn't gone for those 3 months, I would have been staying with my parents. In my old basement room, adjacent to the room my Dad spent all his time in. While I was still living there. I would check on him all the time. He had sleep apnea and every time his breathing would pause (anyone who's lived with someone who has it knows what I mean), I would hold my breath waiting for it to start again. If I had been there, I might have been aware when the heart attack or whatever it was hit him. If I had been there, maybe I could have called 911 immediately and he could have been saved. Everyone always says that there's nothing I could have done, but I think I will always have to live with wondering what if. It truly sucks that I will never know.

I also harbor a lot of anger at the timing of his death. 2 more days and I would have been there. Just 2 more days and at least I would have seen him and hugged him one last time. Because I was so far away, I didn't even get to say goodbye before he was taken to the funeral home and all the things were done that made him so unlike the man I knew. He was a large man and hugging him was like hugging the biggest teddy bear you could ever imagine. When they were done with him, it just didn't feel the same to touch him. He was cold and hard, not the warm soft Dad I knew and loved. It pains me to this day that I never got to say goodbye.

I'm sorry for the descriptions. I'm sure noone wants to hear that. But I want to get all this out.

I'm also saddened each day that he never got to know this wonderful granddaughter of his. That she will never know how wonderful her Papa was (that is what all the grandkids call him). That she (and her soon to be brother or sister) has been deprived of ever knowing what it means to have a grandfather of any kind. My husband and I both lost our fathers way too early. His grandfathers both died while he was young. I barely know one of my grandfathers and the other passed away last year. I can't help but feel that fate has dealt my family some horrible and unfair blows. What is this curse upon the males of our family? And will the curse continue? I pray to God that my daughter and expected child will never have to go through this. I pray that their Daddy will live a nice long life and the curse will be broken. I pray that we will both live to see our grandchildren born and grow up. Most of all I pray that my children will never experience this kind of pain. I know that I cannot prevent that, but that doesn't mean I can't try.

I'm off to have a good cry before I go to bed. Hopefully everything will go well at the appointment tomorrow and the day will pass uneventfully. I dread calling my Mom.... she's a wreck on a good day, so I know it will be terrible tomorrow. Wish me luck.


Chris said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a wonderful man. I can't imagine how difficult this time of year is for you.

I'm holding my breath with you.

Furrow said...

I can imagine how horrible such a sudden death must have been for all of you.

All of the people I know who have had someone die like that blames themselves. Everyone seems to feel there was something they could have or should have done. But always, there's no one to blame. I know it doesn't make it any easier.