February 2, 2003 – my father passed away after a long bout of emphysema.
I still think about my dad a lot. Our last conversation was Christmas Eve, 2002. He called me out of the blue. After our usual brief conversation about the weather, he came out and point-blank asked me if I was happy. His question blind-sided me. We had NEVER had those types of conversations. After a few pauses (and a lot of “gulps”), I was able to tell him that I was, indeed, happy. He breathed an audible sigh of relief and told me that hearing me say that I was happy was music to his ears….
He was admitted to the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton about three days before he passed away. I was able to see him the evening before he died. He was in a coma. He looked so frail. My whole family was there when I got to his room. I held his hand and whispered to him that I was there and if he needed to go, he should. I hoped that he heard me. After a few hours, everyone left – my older brother took my mom home – she, herself was recovering from cancer surgery. The last person to leave was my sister, Anna.
She left the hospital just before 11:00 pm. I was staying with my oldest brother and his family (he lives about two blocks form the hospital). We got the call just after midnight that my dad had passed away. I like to think that my dad knew that it was safe for him to go because there was no one there to try to stop him. That was my dad….