Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dad's "on the roof"

Dad in full uniform,
before the "crash" in September 2005
Late last year, Dad
wearing his Air Force uniform jacket and officer's cap.

Dad back in August of '92,
playing his accordion at a family campout at Redman,
Big Cottonwood canyon, Utah.
Dad and I at one of our almost-weekly lunches
(the Arctic Circle at 39th S and 7th E) winter of 2007.

October, 2007, Dad, Gwen and I, visiting the
Hill Air Force base museum.
Gwen made sure that the tour guide and other visitors
nearby knew that Dad was a B-17 pilot in the 2WW.
Several expressed their admiration and
thanked him for his service.
The Hill Air Force base museum B-17,
and Dad waiting for the tour guide to undo
the crowd barrier belt, so that Dad could have
a looksee inside the fuselage, through the rear side door,
which you can see just behind the American marking.

I just got a phone call from my wife, at the Garden Terrace nursing center: "Dad just died! I noticed he wasn't breathing. I told someone here. And now he's growing cold."

So this looks like the real deal. I've already sent a group email to our children, and my siblings. I just talked with my sister, Lori, on the phone too. Mom was sitting at her kitchen table getting cookies for the neighbors ready, when Gwen called her with the news, right after she had called me.

Well, "God" is good to us. Dad didn't wait a long time, even though I feared he was in the act of fighting death tooth and claw, every step, and, being a stubborn man (a combat pilot, after all....), he would just "hang in there" for months or even years. My worst nightmare. Averted now, another one, "thank God."


Gwen has talked to me again, and my sister has, and Dad is definitely gone. They, Lori and Mom, are keeping his hands warmed up, so that Sarah and Amy will have a warm and not a cold hand to touch when they arrive: Gwen has gone to get them out of school and take them over to the care center. I have been invited to come too, twice by my dear long-suffering wife: but I am not interested in saying "good bye" to a corpse. If he was dying still, I would race off to be there for the death. But as he has already checked out, I can see "him" later, after the morticians have had their ways with his earthly remains.

(I have yet to see a person die before my eyes. I have seen "dead" people, or rather, what's left of 'em: but never witnessed the most common event, as common as birth....)

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