He's Gone. Goodbye.

My father passed away tonight at 7:40PM.

He had surgery to remove a cancer tumor from his ausophagus (sp). They had to remove his whole stomach, since it was also filled with cancer. A very risky surgery, even for someone in top health. But my dad was weak.. this cancer was kicking his ass. But the surgery went as good as it possibly could have. He did very well through it, in fact. It was a few days later that he had problems. I was there on one of the days he was starting to have problems. We talked a little.. we talked about the Massillon/McKinley game, which I didnt really care about. We talked about the Tribe, and how heartbreaking that was. And of course about the Browns. I just did my best to keep him comfortable.

The next time I saw him, he was sedated. His lungs were working far more hard than they should have, the respirator was basically keeping him alive. It was.. really difficult for me to see him like that. With all those tubes and hoses coming out of him. It just broke my spirit into pieces.

Over the next week or so, his body got progressively worse. A few days ago, his kidneys failed. That's when I went to see him for the last time. I sat with him for an hour and a half, and I just talked to him. And cried the whole time. And got really angry. I don't know at what. Maybe just at the situation. At how unfair I thought it was. And that night, I made peace with him I think. I said my goodbyes. I told him I'd take care of mom, that I wouldn't let anything happen to her or any of our family. I'd make him proud, I'd do all I could to make him smile while he's watching over us. I think on that night, in the back of my mind I knew he wouldn't be waking up.

So Sunday (today) comes around. I'm watching the Browns game on mom's new TV. A few people come over on and off during the day, as has been the norm ofr the passed few days. Around.. 7PM or so we got a phone call from my dad's nurse. She said that maybe we should come in. She just had a feeling, she said. And again, that anger and determination started. We had some people over, and I told them we're gonna go see my dad, and I said sorry we're rushing them out. But that's what we're doing. So I drive me and mom over, and we make small talk. I drop her off at the entrance and park, and then I go into the hospital. I think.. I musta looked more serious and angry than I felt. because the security guys were eyeballing me, and asking me if I knew where I was going. maybe it was my general demeanor and the big black coat I was wearing. So I said I didnt need directions from them, and left it at that. I walk abck into the ICU.. and I see my aunt Sonnie (Saundra) sitting there with my mom in Dad's room. And I'm like.. how'd she get here so fast? who called her?
Here's where it gets a little creepy.
See, Sonnie is my dad's fraternal twin. They were born like 4 minutes apart. She was at work tonight.. and she told her boss she just 'had a feeling', and had to leave to see my dad. She felt she needed to be here. She had a feeling. And ten minutes later, my dad coded. His heart stopped.
My dad's heart, it's been working overtime since yesterday. His blood pressure has been way way down, and his heart was trying to compensate. To the point it just gave out. So immediately they start CPR, and a bunch of doctors and nurses get into the room to help. Just like you see on TV. I told, and then yelled at, my mom and aunt to get away from the room. because.. they just didnt need to see that. I knew they didn't, I didn't want them to see my dad like that. About a minute and a half into the CPR, I made a decision in my head. I asked my mom if she agreed.. and she did. I went into the room, and with tears coming down my cheeks, I asked them to stop the CPR. To let him go. I think.. if they did succeed, he'd just be in that same coma he's been in the for passed 2 weeks. He doesn't want to be like that. No way.
And he was gone.
My mom, of course, was inconsolable. So was my Aunt. But I put my emotions on hold for the moment.. things needed to be taken care of. I called the family on my cell, my cousin, my mom's best friend. I cried, of course. But I know I needed to be strong for my mom. I need to be.

My gramma came then.. so did some of my aunts and uncles. And they said goodbye. And I.. being the coward I am.. I couldn't bring myself to even look in my dad's direction. I was scared. I didn't want to see him laying there. I sat with my brother when he died, I sat in the hospital room he died in. And it's haunted me ever since. Same with my gramma. I don't want that with my dad.

I think.. I know.. I refuse to remember him like that. I refuse. He isn't that person laying in the hospital bed with all those tubes hooked up. He's the man who sat in the middle of the boat when we three (Zack, dad, myself) went fishing. He was the one directing traffic when we 'processed' deer. He was the one who would sing along to old country songs during our very numerous road trips. The man who would look over my shoulder while I grilled cheeseburgers, and made comment on how I made them better than he could. He was the man who sat in his chair while I sat on the couch, and we just watched TV together. Especially shows on Discovery and National Geographic. And we wouldn't just watch them.. we'd talk about them. We'd have real discussions about them. He was the man who tell me how to fix anything, or how to do something that needed to be done. Whatever it was.. he knew how to do it.
The bad times are there to, in my mind. But they aren't important, they aren't the memories that shine in my memory. I remember the man I loved. And who loved me. And he told me I could do anything I wanted.. and I believed it, simply because my dad said it. He was.. he IS the man I look up to. The man I wanted to be all my life. Some people wanted to be firefighters and astronaughts.. I wanted to be as good a man as my father was. No, I just wanted to be HALF the good man he was.

Now.. as anyone knows who reads my blogs, they know I like to put in songs and poems in posts I feel strong about. So.. what do I put in a post about the death of my father? Of my best friend? Of my role model? Do I put in a sad song, to reflect how I feel, how anyone who knew my father MUST feel? Maybe something to reflect the mood of my world at this moment.
No.. I am happy for my father. He is in a much better place, he is with my little brother, he is with his grampa (whom he loved dearly). He is gone to a place beyond, and he is looking over our shoulders and watching over us. And a song did come to mind for me..

End Of The End by Paul McCartney

At the end of the end
It's the start of a journey
To a much better place
And this wasn't bad
So a much better place
Would have to be special
No need to be sad

On the day that I die I'd like jokes to be told
And stories of old to be rolled out like carpets
That children have played on
And laid on while listening to stories of old

At the end of the end
It's the start of a journey
To a much better place
And a much better place
Would have to be special
No reason to cry

On the day that I die I'd like bells to be rung
And songs that were sung to be hung out like blankets
That lovers have played on
And laid on while listening to songs that were sung

At the end of the end
It's the start of a journey
To a much better place
And a much better place
Would have to be special
No reason to cry
No need to be sad
At the end of the end

And I'll end this post as 99% of my interactions with my dad ended. With me walking out the door.. and him calling out
"See ya, JayJay. Love ya, hun."
and then I would always look over my shoulder and smile as I say

"See ya pop."


IsabellaCloset said...

My dear sweet precious Jason, What a beautiful and touching post about your Father. Your Father and Mother are so very blessed to have such a wonderful Son! As tears stream down my cheeks I think about how brave you have been through all this.. you are not a coward at all!! What you did in the last minuets of your Fathers life took true guts, you took over when you needed to. God bless you for that!
I know what you have been through with the death of your brother Zack.. I can still see you at his service stand there telling us about all about your little brother Zack, how much you loved him and what a great brother he was..
You have touched so many of our lives in so many ways!
The road ahead of you and your Mother will be a very difficult one. Thank God she has you.
Yes Ronnie, Zack and even my precious Nikki are in a much better place then we are. We are the ones that must suffer the sadness of their loss..
Your Father is smiling down on you right now sweetie and he's so proud and grateful for you taking over the way you did in the last few moments of his life....
I am here for you if you need me. You are like the son to me and I love you very much! ~Mary~

carole said...

Hi Jason:
Your tender post belies your age. In this heart breaking time you are ageless and have strength beyond your years. I know how grateful your Mom is to have you.
I like the song you chose to put into your post. You are a hell of a good and kind human being. Making that thoughtful decision so your Dad could go to Heaven was a big deal!!!
Peace & Much Love to you and your family
I am a friend of Mary's. I hope if anything happens to me my kids will be as strong as you are!!!

The Urban Chic said...

Dear Sweet Jason, you don't know me, but your dear friend Mary, told me about your dad and I am so sorry about your loss. You are a true son to the very end. I too went through almost the same thing, only they caught mine before cancer and was on life support with all the tubes and my dad walked out because he couldn't stand to look at me. So my prayers have been many since I heard about your dad. God Bless you and your mom. I loss my mom suddenly on August 1st, so I know the depth of your pain. I will continue to keep you and Sherryl in my prayers. May God comfort you in your time of sorrow. Pat

marylou said...

Dear Jason,
I am a friend of Mary's as well and just read your post. My prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. There are not many words of comfort I can offer you at a time such as this but I would like you to know that after I read your post I could imagine seeing a man smiling, full to the brim with majestic pride and looking down upon his son with monumental love saying "see ya JayJay, love ya hun"...!!!!
Blessings to you & yours, Marylou

Nathalie Thompson said...

I found you via Isabella's Closet, not intending to stumble in on your grief, but being able to relate to it because of my own recent loss (sister). You WERE brave to stop the CPR and did the right thing. Death is clean compared to the mess of emotions it dredges up. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your mother should be proud to call you her son. I think you will be MORE than half the man your dad was. :)

Jan said...

Yet another friend of Mary's here, again. I've been thinking of and praying for your family ever since Mary told us about you.

I'm sorry to hear that your father passed away. I'll be praying for him and you and your family. God Bless.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jason ~ Another friend of Mary's here.
Your Dad and your lovely family have been in my prayers for a while now....
My heartfelt condolences to you all.
Ronnie is in a much better place now....he is up there with Zack watching over you and your Mom....


Jason i too am a friend of Marys and have been praying for your family since Mary first told us of your Dads illness.
Now my heart breaks for you as you suffer this tragic loss.
Your tribute to your Dad was so beautiful and im sure he is smiling down on you and would be so proud of you.
Please accept my sincere condolonces (sp).


About Me

So what about me.. I'm a geek. Born and bred. My mom often says I'm just a big kid. A.. a really big kid. I live in Massillon, Ohio. I like sketching, coloring on the comp, video games.. and all other things a self proclaimed geek would dig. Hi Nessa, Chris, Rua and Ash! And hi Mary! I'm currently unemployed, but workin hard to change that. Workin.. really hard. oi. Welcome to my blog!!