My dad passed away 6 years ago today. 2 days before he died (when this picture was taken) I was with him in the hospital and I knew the end was near. I really wanted to talk to him – to hear FROM him, but that didn’t seem like a possibility. He was not in his right mind and was saying all kinds of crazy things. I tried to stimulate conversation by asking him about things in our past – “Hey dad do you remember the time……” – but to no avail. Each time his answer was the same. “No.”
Finally I gave up and decided to feed him lunch. After he had been eating a while I decided to try again. And again I got the same response. “No.”
Until I asked him this question. “Dad, do remember the time I got hurt in my first football game and came off the field crying and told you I was quitting?” When I said that something happened. I could see it in his eyes. He paused and he FOCUSED. And then, after answering “No” to the 20+ questions before, he looked at me and said, “You don’t quit when the going gets tough. You don’t quit when things don’t go your way. And you don’t quit feeding me.” and he opened his mouth wide for his next bite.
I laughed through the tears. That was it!!!That’s what I wanted!
Shortly after his lunch they came and got him and transferred him to the Hospice facility. 2 days later he was gone. And those were the last coherent words he ever spoke to me – to anyone. I needed it then, I need it now, and I’m sure some of you do too.