This started as a comment for Johnny’s blog at but then I realized this was really a story that needed to be told on steady.org…
There’s nothing stupid about the realization that you don’t know how lucky you are until something bad happens to you. Sometimes it just takes a tragedy to make you stop, at least it did for me.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to my dad before he died. He was admitted to the hospital on 2/1/2002, which as about a week after he’d had a “routine” colonoscopy. In fact, Gus and I went to an outdoors show with dad on Jan 31st and I remember having a smoked sausage sandwich with him, it didn’t sit well with him. Somehow this is relevant.
I was working a “high-powered” job, or at least I thought I was, and had to go to Denver for business the week of the 4th. I was asked to go to Minneapolis around the 10th but declined because I somehow felt that it was not a good idea. He had emergency surgery on the the 10th. The doctor said it went well and that he would probably live a much happier life. I spent every day by his side until he was moved out of the ICU and onto a “regular” floor. That was Thursday. Things were really looking up.
The last time he and I saw each other alive, I told him, “look dad, you’re getting better. Tomorrow you’ll eat real food. I’ll see you Saturday.” That was Thursday. Friday I didn’t go to the hospital. Saturday morning I got the call from mom around 5:00 AM. He’d coded.
I drove like a bat out of hell to the hospital, from Northern Virgina to Glen Burnie. It’s odd, how things stick with you. I listened to a Bosstone’s cd on the way. I still can’t listen to that cd without crying.
When I got to the hospital, he was grey. He was on a respirator. His feet were cold. And I knew right then. This was bad. Really bad. Mom said they were transferring him to UMD medical center in Baltimore. She followed the Ambulance, I followed her. Matt and Jen met us at the hospital.
We waited in this shitty waiting area that was on some kind of mezzanine level. After what seemed like hours, a doctor emerged. When he asked if everyone was family, I knew what we were about to hear. It was like a scene from one of those hospital drama shows. They did all they could. There was too much damage. Too much strain on his heart. He was dead.
I had to call his friends and relay the bad news.
I miss my dad so much. He was my best friend. I am still angry after 6 long fucking years.
Where’s tomorrow been
Where’s the life I’m in
Why’s tomorrow feel
Like a whole new love
Like a whole new deal
It’s not wrong
And it’s all part of the plan
Where’d you go