I was still reeling from my father's death when bad news came again in February. Charlie and I were at home when the phone call came his father was being taken from Clinton, MO to Kansas City, MO by lifeflight. He had suffered a heart attack. There wasn't much news at that point so we sat by the phone and waited.
Later we got a call he was in surgery to repair damage and the family would call later with a progress report. The next phone call was to tell us he had passed away. Charlie and I looked at one another with pain. It couldn't be happening again so soon. We had lost another father. Immediately we began to make plans to return to Missouri for another funeral.
About an hour later we got another phone call. The doctor had come out and told the family he didn't know how it happened. He could only explain it as a miracle, but Earnie's heart started beating on its own. He had never in all his years as a physician seen anything like it. Tears of joy began to flow at our miracle.
We made plans to travel to Kansas City to see Charlie's father. The following day we left to arrive in a snow covered Kansas City. Earnie was in intensive care, but everything was looking good for him. He was temporarily on a ventilator to help him breathe without struggle. They were keeping his body temperature low to prevent any further damage and it would be raised in a day or so. Everyone decided to leave and get some rest to return the next day.
On February 24th, my birthday, we returned to the hospital to find Charlie's dad was alert and responding to commands. He was heating his body up on his own. The family was able to go back and see him. He responded by nodding his head to questions that were asked of him. Each of us was comforted by his response.
That evening Charlie and I decided to leave and celebrate my birthday by having dinner. We stepped out the hospital doors into a blizzard. We made it to a motel and decided it was safer to just have dinner at a Denny's right next to it. We ordered our dinner and had just began to eat when his sister, Frankie, called and told us their father had taken a tragic turn and his kidneys were failing. I was praying as we drove through the blizzard that he would not die on my birthday. When we arrived, we discovered Earnie was already gone.
I can not explain the weight that sat on my chest. I had been with Charlie since I was seventeen years old. In only six weeks I had lost another father. I didn't want to attend another funeral.
I believe with all my heart Earnie held on until Charlie could get there. He did it for himself and for Charlie. He knew he could leave in peace now that both of them had said goodbye. He was ready to go, we were just not ready to release him. But he is free of all the pain that had tormented him through the last years of his life.
I miss him. The pain is still real. I am not sure when the pain of losing two fathers so close together will subside.
Jul 31, 2011
This year has been so difficult. It was to be the year of celebrating new experiences as I turned the page to my sixtieth birthday. I didn't know death waited to begin my calendar.
January thirteenth began as beautifully normal as a Thursday could be. I had an appointment to get my hair cut and was on the way to my stylist when I got a phone call that sent me reeling into the bottom of the pit. My sister, Sharon, called. Her words will be ones I shall never forget. She said, "You must make plans to come home immediately. The paramedics called and father is dead."
The phone to my ear all I could do was scream, "NO!" I had so many questions she couldn't answer. She was in shock herself. That devastating phone call still playing through her mind.. Truth began to sink in. I began to wail, "My Pappy, my Pappy." That beloved endearment all I could speak.
I have decided to write a blog about my thoughts and experiences. So much of my life is in poetry, but I don't have a journal. I decided to create an electronic one. I am not sure who will read it, but first and foremost it is for me. I hope to share the journey I find myself in. There will be tears and laughter and perhaps healing. This year has been a difficult one so far. So I begin Susie's Sentences.