Yesterday (the ninth) marked the nine-month anniversary of my father's death.
I can't believe it's been nine months. Some days it feels like it's been years since he's been gone. Other days it feels like hours. I can still remember everything very clearly - the day he died, and the eleven days before it. The day he lost consciousness (August 29th) is especially clear in my mind. In some ways it feels like he died that day. His brain did, I suppose. He had the stroke on Friday. When my mom and I saw the MRI on Monday, we knew he was gone. The doctor said the white areas were dead spots. The image was blanketed in white spots.
I knew earlier, though. On the 29th, when we couldn't wake him up. We called 911 and the ambulance came, sirens blaring. I met the EMTs in the driveway. They came in. They took his blood pressure. It was 60/40. When I heard those numbers, I knew then and there he wasn't going to wake up.
The EMTs had my dad strapped to a stretcher. They asked if we had a hospital preference. They took him away. That was a Friday. One week later, in the hospital, the nurses took out his breathing tube. Again, an ambulance came. They took him to the hospice we'd visited earlier that week.
On Tuesday, September 9th, another ambulance took him away. They didn't use sirens that time.
How has it been nine months already? Where did the time go? I've done so little with it. I've had so little energy.
I bought my dad a Homer Simpson card for Father's Day last year. I feel the strange compulsion to buy a card this year. Why? What on earth would I do with it? I don't know, but the urge is there just the same. Habit, I suppose. I've bought one every year that I can remember. It seems strange I don't need to buy one this year. That I'll never need to buy one again. I think my dad's birthday will be hard, too, especially since it'll mark two years since the initial diagnosis.
Brain cancer, I'd thought. Who the hell gets brain cancer? It seemed unfair. Why did it have to be my daddy? He thought differently.
"Why not me?" he'd say. "Am I so special that I can't get a brain tumor? I'm no better than anyone else."
But he was, in so many ways and for so many reasons.
I miss him so much.