Day 42 Today is 8 years he died

11 02 2013

Today is a tough day. It does get easier but the day itself really sucks. At 8:20 am 8 years ago today my father passed away. Sorry if you have heard the story before but this helps me deal with it and maybe you can get something out of it.

My dad was taking 27 pills a day to stay alive. We had brought him home from the hospital about 5 weeks earlier so he could die at home. He had a variety of things wrong with him they said he died of COPD but you could have chosen 5 or 6 other things. They had given him morphine under the tongue 2 weeks before so it had been a while since I had seen him “normal”. My problems started in life at 10 when my dad said that it was time for me to be the man of the family and I wore that with a badge of honor. It is by far the worst thing anything can put on a little boy. I truly believed in my head my dad thought I could handle the pressure and that he took a step back and started the deterioration process. It’s not like he didn’t do anything but when I was 14 he became disabled and quit. I was so pissed. I m a fighter and I don’t quit and he left my mom and I to take care of him and my sister. I know he was sick and his body was falling him but he could have tried to do something. He made me a promise that if I graduated from college that he would be there and stand for me when they called my name. Well he did that in December of 1998. It was the last time I could say I was proud of him. He was there and then had to go to the car. He had to carry an oxygen tank with him but I know that day he was proud of me. AS the years went on I saw less of him. I was embarrassed and now I know I was really pissed at him. I saw the man he was becoming, he couldn’t take care of himself very well and my mother waited on him hand over fist. September 2004 I started my own business. I will never forget that day he said “( I m so proud you had the courage to do something I wouldn’t) I remember mumbling to myself yeah You could have and he wouldn’t have been so damn poor.

August 2004 my dad got the words you only have 6-9 months left to live. He started the I m sorry and started to bear his soul. He apologized to my mom and I heard  his words he was sorry and my mom waited 34 years to hear those words. He apologized to my sister and requested that she do a few things which she agreed. He then started his process with me. It took a full 5.5 months to get it all out. I learned things about him that I never knew. He was a great card player, a real sharp dresser. He owned bowling alleys and restaurants, he played with his close friend Buddy Holly in his band and some other things that I will keep to myself. At first I was so happy to hear all of this and then I became bitter that he would wait until he was gone and couldn’t do anything about it. His last words that he said to me were son I wish I was half the man you had become. It was the most powerful thing I have ever heard but it should have been me saying that to him.

The last time I saw my dad alive was February 4th. They got him out of bed and sat him in his chair. He had no idea we were there. I sat in front of him and talked to him like nothing was wrong but knew it wouldn’t be long before he died. I left that night and hoped God would take him. he was a shell of a man, he was so sick and my mom deserved better. Thursday February 10 at 9:40 pm my mom called its time son. We had many false alarms but this time her voice said it was really happening. He asked my mom to go to the store and get him some juice. He knew what he was doing when she got back my dad was in a coma. I got there at 11:00 that night. It was the longest drive I had made from Denton to Cleburne.  I wanted to have something to say to calm everyone down when I got there but I didn’t. I gave my sister, my mom and the hospice nurse a hug and went into the bedroom. No matter how ready you think you are you’re not ready to see you parent laying there taking their last breaths . The nurse told me that he could hear me so talk to him but he wouldn’t respond. Probably since the first time since I was a baby I went in laid in my dads arm and didn’t say a word. I laid there about 2 hrs and nobody came in there. I guess they knew I needed my time. I talked to my dad about what I was doing in my business and how I struggled with being a dad and husband. I told him I was mad about him leaving me here but I would hold up to the end of the bargain of taking care of my mom and sister. I got up and let some other people who came by the house come by and pay their respects. I sat outside in the dark for about an hr. I just kept praying for God please take him. His lungs were filling with fluid so his breathing was like that of a drowning person. At 8:00 that morning his breaths became fewer and fewer. My mom and sister came and said goodbye and I laid next to him holding his hand. at 8:20 I heard his last breath. A very surreal moment happened and his warm body became cold and his spirit left. It was my last time that I had to be the man of the family with him there!!





One response

11 02 2013
meagan wood

tyler, your story took me back like it just happened yesterday. I still miss him everyday and at times feel his presence near. and on this day I just want to thank you for stepping in and taking that role. I will be very proud to have you walk me down the aisle one day….. thank you for being my brother, my father, my best friend, my hero!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I am so proud of who you are!

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