Today is a sad anniversary for me. My father died April 12, 1990. I was 21.
I wrote about this before. But I have more to say about it now.
His name was Harland and he passed away peacefully in his sleep, but it was well too early. He was 55 when a brain aneurysm took him from us. We know it was peaceful because my mother was sleeping beside him and didn't know anything was wrong until the she was up, making breakfast, and couldn't wake him up.
I was working a night shift at the time and had been gotten home and gone to bed as my mother was getting up. Just over an hour later my mother woke me up. She didn't want me to be woken up by my pager going off and calling me to an emergency at my own home.
See, at the time I was a member of the local volunteer fire department, and being that it was a rural area the fire department were the first responders for all injuries and similar emergencies as well as fires.
I remember that whole day quite vividly.
I remember my mother telling me to go back to bed.
I remember thinking I would never sleep again.
I remember holding it together while my sisters fell apart.
I remember my mother breaking down in the hospital.
I remember calling one of my friends and her coming to support me.
I remember seeing my father in a hospital bed with a lot of tubes and no brain activity.
I remember them declaring my father dead and us having to discuss what to do next.
I remember walking out to the hospital and going to pieces in Sandra's arms on a park bench because my legs wouldn't hold me anymore.
I remember my friends keeping me company and making sure I was not alone for the next few days.
However, much of the next few days is a blur, and I don't remember much of them.
Every year on this day I take some time by myself to remember and reflect.
I still miss my dad but I am eternally grateful for the 21 years he was in my life, and the lessons he taught me. Especially the lessons I learned when he didn't realize he was teaching.
I am the man I am today because of my father.
Thank you Dad.