Highs and lows they are a part of life and stuff happens but sometimes it would be nice to simply be able to rejoice without having to balance it out with great loss. I am so full of mixed feelings right now and basically am numb. After finding out yesterday that I was selected for promotion and waiting to take a bit of leave to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary on the 25th I received a call as I was getting ready for work this morning that my father had died. He died after a long struggle against the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease took him from us long before his body gave up the ghost very early this morning.
It’s not that he died, we prayed that he would be at peace and suffer no more but when it happens it is a shock and tremendously discombobulating to the emotions. I have been numb most of the day. I am very grateful for the phone calls and loving words of friends via e-mail and Facebook. But there is an emptiness, though I thought I had prepared myself for this day I found out that when death occurs, no matter how bad and how hopeless the situation is and the acceptance that a loved one will not be healed and restored in this world, it still is like being kicked in the nuts. Of course from all of my work in hospital I knew this to be the gospel truth, but until it happened to me I could not say that I really knew how it felt to lose a parent. Now I do and honestly I don’t know what to think.
Do I believe my dad is in a better place? Yes I do, with the Lord, yes, no longer suffering…yes. All I can say is that there is emptiness now. I wish that he had been made whole, that we had another 10 years together talking about baseball, the Navy and even golf. I wish that we could go out and play catch one more time and that he would hit grounders to me and tell me to “stay in front of the ball and keep your butt down.” Of course that is just me, my brother, mom and my brother’s family as well as my dad’s brother all are experiencing the loss each in their own way and trying to cope with it in their own way. My mom and brother had to go to the funeral home today to make the final arrangements since everything had been pre-planned last year. That had to be harder than hell for both of them; it was hard enough going with mom to make the arrangements last year.
I fly to California tomorrow and understand that the memorial service will be Sunday afternoon at De Young’s in Stockton. Tonight I went to Harbor Park to see the Tides hoping that baseball and the sight of the lush green field will help me cope since the ballpark was one of the few places that I could find peace when I returned from Iraq. It did help the friendships of the people there as well as the peace of looking at that perfect diamond was helpful. Of course the big rain delay which just let up a bit ago well after I decided to head home. Oh well, cest la vie. I do hope that the Tides follow up yesterday’s win with another.
It’s funny how being selected for promotion doesn’t seem as exciting when that man that you wished could share it with you and see it happen is dead. My dad along with Judy pinned the gold bars of an Army 2nd Lieutenant on my back on June 19th 1983 and now my dad is gone.
My brother was certainly closer to my dad than me and he has been a rock throughout this ordeal, especially when I returned home gooned up with PTSD from Iraq. I know that he is hurting and that his children who loved their grandfather are grieving as well. As for my mom, she spent over 50 years with dad, suffered the lot of a Navy wife and separation from her own family by the basis of being stationed on the west coast.
On the 25th of June Judy and I celebrate our 27th Wedding Anniversary. With me in California on that day and Judy here we will miss another wedding anniversary together. Of course we will make it up on the back side of this but it seems like old times, I have lost count of how many of these auspicious occasions that we have missed, I think somewhere around 16 if you count this one.
My dad’s memorial service will be at De Young Memorial Chapel in Stockton at 1 PM on Sunday the 27th of June. I fly out tomorrow and appreciate your prayers.
My dad lived a full life, he cared about people was a good man and had faith but now I will have to wait to see him again on that lush green diamond that is heaven. Pray for me a sinner; remember my family as well as the soul of my dad Carlton Dundas, Aviation Storekeeper Chief, United States Navy (retired) husband, father, grandfather and a hero, a man that taught me about honor, hard work, determination and baseball.
May his soul and the souls of all the departed rest in peace.