Friday, April 8, 2016

Eleven Years Ago - Today

April 7th, 2005 I left college early that day, it was a Thursday I believe. I went home and packed me a few items, talked to my landlady and asked her to feed my cats while I was gone. Jumped in my big arse land boat and set her in motion to Florida from Ludowici, GA. Within a couple of hours I was at my destination.  This trip to the town I graduated high school from was one I made so many times I lost count, but this time was different. It was different for I knew, somehow I knew this was the last time I was going to see my father alive.

He was happy to have me there, I held his hand, I kissed his forehead, his cheek, his nose. I pulled up a chair to his hospice bed and we talked for a good bit then he needed to take some meds. He was on morphine, it was the end, all that mattered is that he was in the lest amount of pain as possible, the dosage was high, he fell asleep within moments of being medicated. My sister came in and her and I went to a good friend of mine, often when I visited Florida I would stop by and see him. I met him when he worked for my father, my father had a lot of respect for Tommy. Tommy is a master mechanic, much like my father was.

After our visit my sister and I stopped at a restaurant and she purchased our father some Tomato Bisque soup, his favorite. When we got back to him he was awake and hungry, so we took turns feeding him and feeding ourselves. The three of us laughed and talked about all kinds of stuff - it was an excellent time. I was trying to soak in as much of him as I possible could. I knew. Somehow I knew.

My sister and I were sitting in her bed talking as father slept in the living room (where his hospice bed was set up at). At some point I became hungry for a midnight snack, I very quietly was raiding the fridge when I heard a noise I had never heard before. I rushed to my fathers side he was choking on something, I grabbed the trash basket and put it under his chin. He threw up the largest blood clot I have ever seen in my life, it was the end, he was grasping for breath. There was a look in his eyes that conveyed his fear. I yelled for my sister to come, I pulled the bed away from the wall to give her access to his other side. She had his left hand, I had his right. I lowered my head to his ear, I whispered last words to the man who raised me, loved me, who was my everything so much of my life. He died in our embrace.

I miss you daddy, so many times in this eleven year period I have needed your advice, your strength, your love. Beth and I are still close, we will remain close until it is my time to leave this world. I love you Kenneth Keith Shafer - more than you ever could of possibly known.

Uncle Jim, sister Beth, me, Arlene (mom), Ken (dad), & Aunt Barbara
Beth holding Bonnie Sue, Daddy, and other dogs I do not know their names

Daddy (shortest one), and his cousins (daddy is 6 feet tall)

USMC back in the day
A young Ken Shafer

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