Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts for me.
It marked one year since my father had a massive stroke.
One year ago yesterday morning, he was driving me to the bank. One year ago yesterday afternoon, he would never drive me to the bank again.
He didn't die right away - he lived for another 11 days, first in the neuro ICU at St. Joseph's, then at a hospice in Mesa. But in my mind, he died on the 29th. That was the last day that he was himself. The last day that he was awake.
Yesterday I looked at the clock at 3:45, at 4:30, at 6:15, at 7:20. I could remember clearly what I had been doing a year ago at each time: balancing my checkbook, talking to my mother in hushed tones about what we should do for my dad's headache, calling an ambulance, sitting in the ER at Gilbert Mercy waiting for news.
My mother was waiting for news. I think part of me already knew what the news was. I knew when the paramedics called out his blood pressure - 60 over 40 - that he was gone.
Knowing didn't make it any easier on Monday morning when a doctor, one of my dad's neuro-oncologist's lackeys, told us my dad wasn't going to wake up or recover. Nothing in the world could have made it easier, because they were talking about my father, and telling me he was gone.
I miss him every day.