Did you ever have a "change of life in an instant"? This happened to our family yesterday! Do you ever have a particular day planned out with the ideal of accomplishing several tasks that have been lingering?
While preparing for the day from the list of tasks to do for the day that are imperative to accomplish, I received an early call from my brother. In the past, he hardly calls unless there's a family urgency and it was. He said that he and my niece were helping my father to the car for his regular checkup. Dad said "I feel dizzy" and he passed out immediately. Mom called 911 and Lucky they knew CPR, so they worked on him until the ambulance had arrived. Mom said he had a restless sleep and in pain from his recent second broken hip.
From their home to the hospital, the paramedics had to revive his heart to pumping several times. Then at the hospital, he was put on life support. Later yesterday afternoon, my brother and oldest sister called for a family conference. The doctors said he had no brain activity and was considered "Brain Dead". It would be mom's final decision, but they wanted to know if I felt it ok to "pull the plug". I said "yes". A couple of hours later, my brother called and said "he has passed on".
Just this past Monday, I had phoned mom and dad to say hello. Mom answered and after a bit of hello's, dad came on the phone. He sounded ok, but I sensed he was on some kind of drugs, because his speech was a bit slurred. He said he had sold his 1928 Chevy convertible that had been recently fully restored to museum quality, in order to cover some of the mounting medical bills. We talked about his health, hows the family doing, basically small talk, but he did interject and say to me "Bruce, I'm ready to go" and I knew what he meant. He had made his peace with the Lord.
I am 5,000 miles away and will not be able to attend the funeral today and the burial is tomorrow. My family understands that we cannot be there. Flights are booked with back to school people. I am glad that I DID get to talk to him. Neither one of us would have expected that it would be the last call. You never want to think of the worst and it hurts when it is a close relative, but for him, now he no longer suffers.
He had diabetes, broke two hips in the past 6 months, had a quad heart bypass in the past 4 years, so he has had a hard time of it.
< circa 1945-1950) photo of dad with mom's name on the bumper - AVA. The good things I remember is when we were growing up. He was a long route truck driver and would be at home on the weekends mostly. Our family was simple middle class. Dad was well known in town and some friends with kind words have said he was "a sweet man". Many said "If he liked you, he would bend over backwards to help you in whatever humble way possible or give assistance." "He could make you laugh!" He was strict with his 4 children but he loved us all and loved his wife (our mom). Through out his entire life, he was an automobile affectionado with hundreds of trophies, best of the show etc. He restored a 1950 Ford F150 and it appeared in Life Magazine on the 50th anniversary of Ford F-150. Eugene Hicks favorite craft was remodeling old cars and trucks.
How will it change my life? His had a purpose and I want him to be proud. The Change of Life in an Instant?
It happens to many of us. How do you prioritize daily your life? Is it all about work work work or do you take time out for family?
Now that he is gone, I wish I could have talked more, asked more, done more, said more, spent more time with him. There will be a missing spot. My wife and he got along together well. She called him her "talking buddy". Yes....I know.... we must move on, life continues. There are thousands of human beings that pass on daily. To the rest of the world, this is just another BLURP on the screen, but to us, this has been HUGE.