It’s Mother’s Day, So Why Am I Thinking About My Sweet Father?

It’s Mother’s Day weekend, my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. It’s also the first anniversary of the beginning of an end. One year ago this weekend, the events preceding my father’s death began.

Just Another Ordinary Saturday

The day before Mother’s Day, 2022, I walked my dog to my mom and dad’s house like most mornings. I had a cup of coffee with them and we talked about our plans for Mother’s Day lunch the following day. My mom said she felt like she was coming down with a cold and that if she did not feel better the next day, she would stay home and let us take my dad to lunch. 

I noticed my dad kept getting up and walking back to his bedroom but didn’t think anything of it. He was always restless, not sitting still for long. It was just one of his quirks.

A few hours later, my mom called while I was out running errands. She had taken my dad to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with COVID. Not long afterward, she too tested positive. She told me they had decided to keep my dad overnight for observation but she went home. There would be no Mother’s Day celebration.

My worst fear had materialized. Since the pandemic began, in the spring of 2020, I feared my parents getting COVID. They were both in their 80s and not in the best health. I was especially concerned about my mom because her lungs were already compromised.

I couldn’t believe what was happening. 

When Things Turn Upside Down

A few days before, my parents went to dinner with a group of friends. It was something that they did every Wednesday evening for years. My mom often posts pictures on social media and the picture she posted of her and my dad that night was really good. He actually looked quite debonair in his turtleneck. And, his lips weren’t all pursed up from his quirky habit of saying “cheeseburger” instead of “cheese” when having his picture taken. (Think about it.) The picture of the two of them was so good I printed a copy and put it in a little frame on my desk.

How could both of my parents be sick and my dad be in the hospital three short days later?

My dad had made several trips to the hospital over the past few years. He would usually stay a day or two but then come home once they determined there was nothing wrong. I assumed this would be one of those events. I thought it might be a little longer since it was COVID but surely, he would come home in a few days.

Well, the days turned into weeks. While my mom felt better after about a week, my dad never did get better. He would show signs of improvement and even made it to rehab once but always relapsed. He was sent home under hospice care just shy of one month after he entered the hospital. Eleven days later, he was gone.

A Day Of Remembering

It’s been a strange year. So many times I’ll either read something, see something or eat something and think to myself I need to tell Dad about this. Then I realize he’s not here for me to tell him. I miss him. He was my dad for almost 62 years. While my head knows he was old and not in good health at all, my heart wishes he was still here.

I attended a Mother’s Day luncheon this week, the same luncheon I attended with my mom last year, the very day of the excellent photo of her and my dad. Nicolas Sparks was the guest speaker this year. I was surprised to hear how many of his best-selling novels are based on events that happened in his life. He was a wonderful speaker and said something profound at the end of his talk. He said he is often asked why his books are so sad and if he would ever write a book with a happy ending. If you’ve ever read one of his novels, you may wonder the same thing. (I remember one Christmas, when I had a bad cold and was confined to the house, sobbing through A Walk To Remember.) He said it is his purpose to take the reader through every emotion — from joy to sorrow and everything in between — because that is how life is.

So this Mother’s Day, my first as a grandmother to sweet baby Leo, I will celebrate and honor my mom, my daughter-in-law, and all of my mom friends. But I’ll also be thinking of my dad and how this weekend initiated the beginning of the end.

It’s interesting how we mark significant events, isn’t it? When something profound happens on a particular date or holiday, that date or holiday becomes ingrained in our minds. Can you relate? Do you have a significant day or holiday because it is linked to a personal event, either happy or sad? I’d love to know if you would like to share. 

2 thoughts on “It’s Mother’s Day, So Why Am I Thinking About My Sweet Father?

  1. My grandmother died on Thanksgiving morning 1977. She had just finished rolling out and forming her famous homemade biscuits and sat down to rest. She passed away with a smile on her face. When the whole family started showing up, granddad was sitting next to her saying she left for paradise. Back then there was no 911. Didn’t even call the police. Just called the funeral home and they took it from there. We all continued and had our Thanksgiving feast later that afternoon. Every bite of those biscuits were savored.

    Liked by 1 person

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