(Written on March 12th)
Two years ago today my father died.
I was at work (my current job) which I had been at for only 5 months. My wife (now ex wife) called me on my cell but I ignored it because she had a tendency to call me and ask me to do stupid things. So next the receptionist came over to me and told me I had a call. I got up all steamed knowing it was her. She told me in a panic voice that my dad had a heart attack and he was down in a hospital in Detroit. Her and I were coming from two different sides of town and she needed to drop the kids off somewhere first and we would meet up. So I backtracked to meet up with her and she was taking too long so I said I’d met her at the hospital. I took the weirdest and longest way to get down to Detroit. I just couldn’t seem to find a way to get on the freeway. Had I not tried to backtrack to meet my wife I would have shot straight down I75 and been there in 15 minutes.
When I had received the call the first thing that came to my mind was that my dad was going to be alright, they’d probably just tell him he needed to take more aspirin or something. But the thought had gone through my head that something worse might have happened. Like someone who suffered a stroke or something. The thought of him dying crossed my mind only for a brief second but it seemed too impossible to even entertain.
When I got into the hospital I found my mom, my older (only)brother and my uncle Jim there. My mom was in tears. The first thing she said to me was, “he didn’t make it Michael, he didn’t make it, oh what are we going to do”. Shocked as shit I stepped back and said “what?” At which point my uncle said “he didn’t make it, you father’s dead”. Then gave me a hug. I stepped back again, my reaction of disbelief. I wasn’t expecting this. Not this. It had crossed my mind but I tossed it out as totally impossible. Yet here it was.
Shortly after getting there the rest of my family started showing up. My other two sisters and their husbands, my nieces, nephews, my wife and even my dads bosses. He had the heart attack while on the job. After going down to see his body, they said they were going to do an autopsy. I pleaded with the nurse not to. She told me to call his primary doctor, that’s the only way they could get around it. But his primary doctor told me she hadn’t seen him in two years and didn’t know the state of his health so it would be better if they did. Turns out they never did it for some reason. Which I was glad to hear. Even though he was already dead, I just didn’t think he needed to go through that.
It was so weird standing there seeing him laying on that table. This was a man who had raised me and cared for me so much. He was always there for me when I needed him. To think this was his end. Some cold steel table in the basement of a hospital in downtown Detroit.
Eventually we all made it back to my moms house. I stepped outside by myself and paced the front yard crying. The first time in years I had cried. My father was the best and wisest man I ever knew. For some reason, the next two days were beautiful outside. For being March in Michigan it was in the 70’s temperature-wise with the sun out. But Michigan weather is like that. Two days after that, at his funeral, it was freezing and snowing out with strong winds.
I can’t believe it’s been exactly two years now. I didn’t even go to his gravesite today. I forgot today was the day. My mom and I talked about it a couple of days ago, but it wasn’t until I called Melissa tonight that she reminded me today was the day. With only a half hour left in it. I feel bad for forgetting on the actual day itself. But today has been one hell of a day.
Two things happened today. I woke up this morning at Melissa’s and went out to my car to go to work. My front passenger tire for completely flat. I went to get some fix-a-flat but the can exploded on me. I then went to put he donut tire on and Melissa’s mom said I should just drive it half a mile to the gas station and put air in it. So I did that. But when I got the gas station the tire was off the rim, so I had to jack it up and put the spare on anyway Then headed to Belle Tire a mile down the street. The told me my rim was cracked and they would need to order me a new one which wouldn’t be in till tomorrow.
But while I was there I ran into one of the Salvation Army officers I shot on camera a few months ago for their online Red Kettle Campaign ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ4ctzj8E2A ) The video looks like shit because of the youtube compression and upscaling. Anyway it was interesting to run into him. Though it makes sense because he serves that area, but when we shot the video it was a totally different location. Anyway small world.
So it’s been a hell of a day. But then March has always been my least favorite month. I do believe in the whole Ides of March thing. The funny thing is I remember several years ago my dad telling me he hated March. He didn’t know why, he just said it was the worst month. So I think it’s really ironic that is was in March that he died.
I’ve noticed with myself that I get really loopy in the head during March. I think this was the case even before my dad died. But I’m noticing it now to.
I just can’t wait to get past the Ides of March, actually the whole month.