July 31, 1993, my dad went into heart surgery to replace an infected valve that had been placed the year before. As a 12-year-old, I knew we’d been told of risks with the surgery but I can’t say I understood. I remember playing around the house that day and seeing our van pull in the driveway in the afternoon, with my brother Jon driving. I thought that was weird, but didn’t understand the connection until we found out the awful news a few minutes later that Dad had made it through the surgery but then his blood pressure bottomed out as they were closing up.
So much of what happened afterward is fuzzy now 20 years later. But I remember that night sitting curled up in the brown chair in the corner of the living room by the front door. Other people were around but I remember feeling separated, by myself, though I know I wasn’t. I don’t remember who was there, but I remember someone put on the Beatles and I remember crying as “Let it Be” played. It was late and someone sent me to bed.
That song still reminds me of that day and it did especially this morning when it came on my ipod without my realizing it would. I listen to my ipod and read while pumping and had started playing one of the Beatles Greatest Hits albums yesterday. Today the song played during my first pumping session of the day and I stopped reading my book and cried a bit. I guess I could call it some kind of sign.
I can’t believe its been 20 years.
Things happen in life the way they’re supposed to, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I have no doubt he’s met his grandchildren, but I wish he was here to meet them in person. I wish I could have grown up with my Dad. I wish my baby sister and youngest siblings had memories of him. I wish my own memory of him wasn’t fading so I could tell them and my kids about him. I wish I wasn’t starting to have occasional fear of something like that happening again in my family.