A little over a year ago my dad took his life. There are a lot of things I don’t understand and never will. The morning of December 14th 2007 I flew to Philadelphia, Pa to visit him on my yearly Christmas visit. I knew this year would be different, but I had no idea how much this trip would change my life.
I found out that in August that he had gone to the hospital for a routine procedure when they found it. His liver was failing and without a transplant it was a death sentence. I hadn’t talked to him since August because his way of coping was changing his number.
When I arrived I tried to see him. I knocked on his locked bedroom door. No reply. My grandmother told me he was sleeping much of the time, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary for him not to surface for a few days. She assured me that he would come around.
That night I slipped the newspaper under his door, said goodnight and naively expected that I would see him in the morning.
The next morning my mom woke me up and told me to get ready to go out. My first question to her was, “Is dad up?” My heart sank, as she responded “no” and disappeared back downstairs.
She returned 30 minutes later and delivered the blow that would change my life forever. “Tink, I’m sorry but your dad died last night.” I collapsed. I didn’t understand how the doctors hadn’t realized the severity of his condition. Why had they scheduled his next appointment five days from now? He had called me twice in the middle of the night there was no way it was true. That’s when she told me it was his choice. He had taken his own life.
The next few months are foggy. I was forced to realize that this nightmare was my reality. There are still things I don’t understand. Questions I want to ask him. I want to talk to him about the Yankees last season, and how he felt about the 2008 election.
I wish I had one more bear hug. I want to tell him the impact he had on my life.
Throughout the next year God tested me more. My great aunt and cousin died followed by two close calls with both of my grandmas.
I believe Gods tests us. I believe God wants us all to find the good in the bad. I believe through these hard times you grow and learn not to sweat the small stuff. My outlook on people and the world has changed. I believe everyone needs people. I believe it is important to always tell people you love how much they mean to you and how they have impacted your life. I believe in living life to its fullest with no regrets. And I believe in always treating other people with respect and kindness because it is your legacy.
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