May 13th, 2009 marked the death of my father, at least in the physical sense.
His living, unfortunately, ended long before that, at least from my take on his life. We lost my momma in 2000 at a young age. I understood her reasons for leaving.
Dad carried on the best he could without the only real friend he ever had. In 2004, he suffered a heart attack that resulted in a triple bypass. Due to allergies to some of the meds and weakened kidneys from diabetes, he was also placed on dialysis. And to add insult to injury, he lost 6 of ten toes to the allergy mentioned above.
The recovery was difficult, not only for him but for those if us that cared for him. He lived in the two bedroom apartment of our current house, and the days and evenings were filled with caring for the wounds left by the amputations, and making sure he had the transportation he needed for dialysis. It was rough on all concerned.
He was not one to follow the doc’s order, but then again neither am I, so over the years his condition continued to deteriorate. Early May of this year he had developed gangrene on one of the amputated toe stubs caused from a blocked femoral artery.
The artery was repaired, but he had to undergo a weeks worth of IV antibiotics before his system was strong enough to get through the trauma of the arterial bypass. That week of antibiotics set him up for a condition known to me as C-Diff. The bad bacteria in his intestines took over and completely infected him throughout, and seven days after release from the bypass he was back in the hospital for the last time.
He was offered a surgical fix for the problem that he so politely said “Fuck you” to, literally. I stood on the outside of his quarantine room knowing that he had just signed his death warrant.
Four strokes that resulted in him being paralyzed from the waist down, and several trials at walking toward the light later, Dad made it all the way into the light. It was a beautiful thing. My sister, and my son, along with my fathers favorite doctor eased him from this life into the next one.
Yesterday, we finished out the remainder of his physical existence. The space that he lived in has been completely emptied, carpets cleaned, walls washed, and appropriate repairs made. It is such a neat space with 10 foot ceilings and all the comforts of a regular apartment, I am glad that I could provide that for he and my mother while they were both still here.
Today begins a new era, we have a renter moving in. A great guy that we have known for a couple years.
I’ll miss you dad.