Dec. 29, 2009 our dad passed away. And our world shifted. He had been sick for a long time with leukemia, diabetes, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure and, over a period of two years, he was in and out of the hospital.
But the week of Christmas, 2009, I found out about time: there is never enough. There is never enough time to say “goodbye”, there is never enough time to stand together again on an old wooden dock, fishing. There is never enough time for one last cup of coffee in your hospital room, watching the sun come up over the mountains in the distance — there is never enough time.
And that Christmas Eve, for one last moment, I held your hand, weak and old. I remember when your hands were so strong — and that memory catches my breath, in a sob. I press your hand against my cheek – I squeeze, I think you squeeze back. And we know that is the final goodbye. We didn’t have to say a word.
When two days later, Jayne calls to say you have been sleeping all day — so unlike you, your moving, active self could never sit still unless you were holding a fishing rod — I can’t go to see you. I know I should. But I can’t see you like that. We said our goodbye; and I want to remember you, in that moment, forever.
And that is what we all thought: you were gone forever. Until the signs came. The rainbows, the song, the pennies found in strange and odd places — one balancing on its end — random, but we noticed. And we took these signs for what we needed: that you saw us, and you were on your way to heaven, just stopping by to say “hello”.
And now we know — we will see you again.