Tag Archives: graduation

not what anyone expected

5 Oct

Shortly before dawn on Sunday, May 6, 2012, my Dad died.  He had been sleeping noisily as he sometimes did, but Mom was unable to wake him.  She called EMS, but Dad was gone before they arrived.  He had not been sick nor been complaining of anything.  He was 79.  May 6 is Mom’s birthday.

Before going to bed Saturday night, Dad laid out his Sunday clothes, the ones we wound up burying him in.  He made Mom a birthday card and left it at her place at the breakfast table, along with their daily vitamins.

Earlier Saturday evening, Mom and Dad came to see my son graduate from college.  The BA candidates went first, so my parents got to see their grandson get his diploma.  After the final BA, Dad and Mom left because it was getting late, the stadium seats were increasingly uncomfortable, and they didn’t want to drive in the dark.  I told my Dad I would see him tomorrow.

My big brother called a little before 6:30 Sunday morning.  My wife answered the phone and spoke to him.  I don’t know how he was able to call all three of us brothers.  I don’t remember getting dressed or driving over to Mom’s house.  I spent something like fourteen hours over there that day, but it all seems pretty fuzzy.

Dad’s death surprised everyone, but his faith and ours kept us from mourning very much.  I feel bad for Mom because she has to reestablish her life after more than fifty years of marriage.  She is a bright and determined and happy woman, so she is going on with things.

I feel especially bad for my son.  What should have been a day of celebrating his accomplishments turned into a day in which he was pushed–gently and unintentionally–into the background.  He spent much of the day moving out of his on-campus apartment and helping his girlfriend move out of hers.  He simply couldn’t get to Mom’s house until the middle of the afternoon.  And while being busy and having a significant other probably were good, I wish he could have been with the rest of us.  He would have sat around and chatted with cousins and such and would have had to meet umpteen strangers who were so glad to know his grandfather but so sad to learn of his passing.  It would not necessarily have been pleasant, but it would have been shared.

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