My dad died last night, at home in bed. He would have been 90 in November and we thought he would live forever. His health has been failing for the last year and a half but suddenly in the last week he took a bad turn.
My brother and my nephew have given their all to keep him alive but metastatic cancer is a vicious force of nature that won’t be tamed. All the kids gathered at my dad’s house to be with him. When he could still talk, he managed to tell me “Your….hair….looks…. dry.” I laughed and agreed.
Last night I sat by his bed and sang to him. He was unconscious but I imagined a slight reaction. I tried to offer comfort and peace. I wanted him to feel my loving presence, and I told him that everything was good, everything was perfect, in case he was feeling any fear.
I joined the other siblings in the living room. There are seven of us, from 18 years old to 60.
My dad didn’t really care about me, but I was the Genius. He loved the other ones, though: The Artist, the Ladies Man, the Homemaker, the Weightlifter, the Looker and the Tennis Star. He had asked us what we would like to have after he died. I asked for his old wedding band, mostly because everything else was taken – his piano, his Rolex watch, his cars, his paintings, etc. The ring was in an envelope in a locked box with his will.
Sure enough, my sister noticed the envelope last night, torn open and empty. One of the siblings explained that our dad had decided to sell the ring, with the help of his caretaker. The story changed a few times and I left the house sobbing after screaming at the Tennis Star.
It couldn’t have ended any other way.