For My Dad

Two years ago today is the last time I saw my dad.  He’d brought my grandma and my mom over here to Houston for their annual doctor’s appointments in the Medical Center.  My mom had called me the night before and asked if I could meet them for lunch. I hesitated, and told her because of so many things going on at work, I probably wouldn’t be able to take off.  The next morning on the drive into Houston, my dad called me at my office to let me know they were getting close, and again invited me to lunch.  Once again, I hesitated, and told him that I was so busy I didn’t think I could make it.  He said he understood, but that he’d love to see me if I could make it happen.  Something told me to forget about work and go see my family.  So, I did.

There’s a train that runs from downtown Houston to the Medical Center. I rode it to the hospital, and as soon as I got off the train, I saw my dad standing outside the doctor’s office smoking a cigarette.  His face completely lit up as soon as he recognized me. He smiled and waved and seemed so happy to see me. It had been several months since I’d gotten to go home to Louisiana for a visit. As I approached him, he made some joke (as he always does) and we laughed and hugged.  He made another joke about driving with both my mom and grandmother in the car — something we’d always joked about.

We went inside and had lunch at Miller’s Hamburgers in the hospital — it’s been one of our favorite places for many years. Lunch was great, the conversation was great — we laughed and had a great time together. My dad looked great and seemed like he was feeling great.

After lunch, he drove me back to my building, and the whole family came up to see my office and meet my co-workers. As usual, my dad charmed everyone with his incredible sense of humor.  They spent a little time walking around my floor and visiting, then had to head back to Louisiana.  I walked them back to the car, and hugged them all.  As my dad was driving out of the garage, he waved and winked at me.  I said, “I love you.”

Two days later, my died passed away in his sleep.  He wasn’t old, he hadn’t been sick — I guess God just needed him in Heaven.

While my family has had a very hard time adjusting to life without him, I’ve heard other people say that they had such guilt when they lost their fathers, because they never got to express how much they loved their fathers.  I am so fortunate that my dad knew how much I loved him, and I know how much he loved me.  I’m not the best son, but he never failed to show me that he was proud of me.

For the rest of my life, I will be thankful that I met him for lunch on July 22, 2008.  Thank you, God, for that perfect memory.  I miss you, Daddy, and I love you.

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6 responses to “For My Dad

  1. When I met u this hadn’t happened long time ago, I’m glad u shared this beutiful moment with me
    And I’m glad that u put ur family first on that specific moment

  2. Joanna Robinson Moore

    It was nice reading this, Jeff. It’s only been 6 months, 18 days since my dad died. We talked the night before he died. He could barely hear me because his hearing had gotten so bad but he did hear me tell him that the kids spent their money he had given for Christmas. He was happy about that. He also heard me tell him how much we all loved him, as I had to speak it very loudly. He was not married and did not have anyone else there with him. But without fail, he always ended every conversation with “WE LOVE YOU”. I don’t know who the ‘we’ included besides himself but I always knew it was coming and it always made me smile. I am still very sad and miss my daddy so much. The only real comfort I have is thinking that perhaps somewhere he is watching over us and protecting us. It’s funny how we remember those looks, smiles and last conversations rather vividly once they are gone. Thanks again for writing this about your dad.

  3. Wow Jeff.
    Just wow.

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  5. Jeff, Great to hook up with you again. This post is really all to familiar to me. I lost my dad March 25, 2009. He went into Byrd Hospital in Leesville with his back bothering him, next I know he’s in ICU. We transferred him to Houston and within two weeks he died. Turns out it was cancer that we didn’t even know he had. My dad and I went many years not being close, but I thank God that we had the opportunity to overcome that and become very close for many years.

  6. Jeff,
    I’m glad to see you have a good side to this. You are an amazing person, and your father is looking at you from Heaven. I never knew about the situation, but I am glad to see he left knowing how much you loved him. When I lost my grandmother, they wouldn’t let me leave my job, or even say goodbye to her. Though I shared my last goodbyes through the phone I know I would love to get that chance to say goodbye to her in person, and not being able to see her before, as she promised. You are a wonderful man, and for that you will have a guardian angel take care of you every step of the way, until the day comes where you re-unite with an amazing family. See you there!

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