Last night, my dear friend lost her father. He had been sick off and on for the last few years, but we were all very hopeful that they would find the right treatment for him and that he would get well. He had so much to live for - a loving wife, two wonderful kids, 2 adorable grandchildren, 7 siblings, 1 dog...the list goes on and on. Mr. R was an active member of his church and loved to golf. He had a great sense of humor and if anyone he knew loved you, well then, he loved you, too. 67 years was FAR too few years for him to be on this earth.
My bestie called me last night from the hospital and asked us to go walk the dogs. Her dog and her parents dog were together at one house and the doctor had just told them to not go home last night. So Gary and I put on baseball caps and dark clothes and got in the car to drive over. It was pouring last night and we wanted to be prepared...but I am sure it looked like we were casing the joint. We fed and walked the dogs and then dried them off and played for a bit. Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a dog person. I was mortified that one was gonna poo and that I was not going to know how to handle it. (Insert Gary's help here!). I am a cat person all the way. But for my friend, I would walk a thousand dogs.
Early this morning, before the sun was even up, I had an eerie feeling. I checked my phone and sure enough, there was a voice mail from my friend. Her dad was gone.
I sent her a text to see if she was up and then I called her. We cried together for a long time. We cried at all the things her dad was going to miss, now that he is not here. We cried at all the things she was going to miss about him. And we cried because we both came to the realization that her dad and my daughter would be together. He will surely look out for her and teach her whatever she needs and love her the way we can't here on earth.
I am now faced with the kind of grief that our friends and family faced back in April. I want to send flowers and food and cards. I want to be there for their family and hold them and hug them and let them know they are not alone. I feel so helpless and so sad and OH MY GOD...this is what it feels to be on the other side of loss. I think it might suck just as much.
It's with a heavy heart that I write today as he was not my dad and his is not my story to tell...and yet, I was touched by this man. This strong man who raised my friend to be one of the best people I have ever had the honor of knowing. So I guess it is fair for me to write about him. He was loved so very much and he is already missed so very much.
Mr. R - here's to you. I will surely toast my next martini in your honor. I know how much you loved them. I hope you are in a happy place. A place with no pain. You left your family in good hands. We will take care of them. Please tell my baby that we miss her so. I suspect you might have done that already...