I buried my father yesterday.
God, I miss him. My dad was/is my hero. My father passed away last Friday, surrounded by his family and friends.
For those that don’t know, my dad has been fighting kidney cancer for the past 5 years, and he fought long and hard, but in the end, God wanted him home.
How and when my dad passed was quite an amazing story.
Thursday night, the 14th, my mom called and said that the nurses were saying he had an hour to two hours left to live. Jessica and I live about an hour and a half away, without traffic. We made it through rush hour traffic in an hour and 15 minutes.
Of course, in typical Mike-style, he was going when he wanted. We were told it was going to be any minute, and so we all stayed at the hospital overnight.
My dad had a stroke this past August, and has been in varying levels of awareness ever since, but this last night, he was thankfully unaware.
My wife and I needed to run some errands on Friday afternoon (we wanted to take a shower and get a few hours of sleep) so we went up to my parents house. We were told that it was unlocked so we could get in. We get there, and everything was locked.
Thank goodness, though. Had we made it inside, we never would have gotten the call to get back.
My brother called me, and told me to hurry back, because it didn’t look good. So we race back, going super fast with our hazards on and driving on the shoulder. We make it into the parking lot and my other brother pulls in behind us. We run into the critical care unit, and about a minute behind us my brother walks in.
My mom bends down and tells my dad that everyone is there. And within 30-60 seconds, my dad left this earth.
At that moment, I felt like I was hit in the face with a baseball bat. I will never forget the feeling of fear, pain and hurt that I felt at that moment, but also joy that my dad was now in a better place.
The Sunday before that, my dad spoke for the last time. My wife and I were visiting him, and I bent down and told my dad I loved him, and with great effort, he told me that he loved me too. And that was the last words he said to me and to anyone ever again.
I am going to miss this amazing man who taught me so much. I am going to miss my role model, my dad, my friend.
Yesterday, I buried my father, but I know I am going to see him again. I was able to speak at my dad’s funeral, and I have included below what I said, and I will leave with that.
Austin O’Malley once said "An Englishman thinks sitting down, a Frenchman thinks standing, an American thinks pacing, and an Irishman thinks afterwards".
My dad was definitely Irish.