Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my dad's death. Today, however, was hard.
It was hard because my dad died on the Monday of my last week of school last year. I remember my mom calling me at 6 in the morning to tell me that dad was headed to the hospital in an ambulance. I remember being concerned, but not scared.
Dad had had several health scares over the previous few months, and everything had always turned out fine. I asked my mom if she needed me with her. She said no. My sister was there, and they would keep me posted.
My dad spent most of the day in the emergency room feeling pretty agitated and disoriented. My sister called me several times throughout the day to keep me posted.
As the day wore on today, I found myself looking at the clock and thinking of how that Monday a year ago progressed.
I was worried, but still feeling confident that my dad would be fine. Then my sister called in the late afternoon to tell me that Dad's lungs weren't working and his kidneys were failing. I remember hearing the words, but not really believing it was happening. I knew those things were very bad.
My principal drove me to the hospital in Madera, and Eric met us there. It was all so unreal. It couldn't be real.
I was able to see my dad in the ICU, but he wasn't able to talk due to the tubes and wires. He knew I was there, though. I told him to fight, and he wiggled his shoulder as if to say, "I am!" That was my last interaction with my dad. I said goodbye after we had eaten dinner, but by that point, Dad wasn't aware of us. I knew once we left that it was the end, but we still left. The doctors gave us hope that surgery in the morning would fix the infection raging through his body. It surely must be okay to leave.
Then we got the call a few hours later that he was gone. We raced back to the hospital, but he was gone. It wasn't my dad anymore in that hospital bed. It was a shell. I didn't even want to see him. I could feel myself closing in and shutting down. It wasn't until Eric was driving us home that I cried as if my heart had split into a million pieces.
An entire year has passed, and it still hurts so much. How is that possible? When does the pain fade? When will I be able to look towards the end of the school year without this shadow hanging over it?
It breaks my heart to think that Dad won't be there for Grandparents' Day, graduations, birthdays, and ball games. And I know he's here in my heart and with me always. But quite honestly, I don't want to hear that. It doesn't help. At least right now that thought doesn't help. I don't want my dad in my heart and memories. I want him here with my family. I want to hold his hand and give him a hug.
I'm sure tomorrow will feel just as bad. Today was just hard because it was Monday. Just like the Monday a year ago.