Monday, March 29, 2010
At 2:45am on Friday (3/26/10) morning my father finally succumbed to the cancer that had been slowly killing him for ten years. Mom called me at 2am from the nursing home and my sister and I got there just as he was being pronounced deceased. Shortly thereafter my brothers and their wives arrived.
Owing that Dad left his body to science, the nurses placed bags of ice around him and opened the window (it was gently snowing outside). A very strange experience while we comforted Mom and each other.
Every one of us had a complicated, if not conflicted, relationship with Dad. He was not an easy man to love or to be around. The biggest mark he left on me is that it is nearly impossible to say something cruel or cutting to me and have me be hurt in the least. That part of me just got toughened up as a child. Kind of like being desensitized after repeated nerve damage. I don't know.
Anyway, he's gone now, in a way. But there's a legacy that remains in each of his children. Especially my brothers, one of whom Dad took a swing at when Dad finally went into the nursing facility. If Mom's smart she won't have any of us give the eulogy at his memorial service and instead tap someone who didn't know him very well or one of his old drinking buddies.