Sad News, Glad News: Going Home
I've been quiet on the blog since the launch of "The Magical Aquarium" some weeks ago. Please know I am beyond grateful for your support and excited to see young readers enjoying my tale and learning respect for sea creatures.
However, excitement about my book paled as I learned our 92-year young father was hospitalized in Connecticut for an aggressive form of pneumonia days before "Aquarium" debuted on Amazon.
Dad's condition worsened on the day my book launched, and my sister called that morning to tell us to come home. JM threw clothes in suitcases and raced 500-miles to see him. The stress of weekend traffic along the DC/New York I-95 corridor, plus my anxiety about reaching Dad in time, made for one of the worst days of my life.
My siblings and I exchanged frantic texts about his failing health as we sped north. My mobile phone finally rang at 3:30 p.m., when we were five hours away.
We didn't make it. Dad passed away peacefully at home as he wished, with other loving family members at his side.
I take comfort knowing I spoke with him by phone just a few days before his health failed. We had a great conversation, and Dad was excited about my new book. "Your mother is smiling down from heaven," he always told me he asked about my books (which was every time we talked). "She knew you'd be a writer."
I feel foggy and adrift.
My head knows his was a well-lived life: US Navy WWII and Korean War veteran; over three decades as a middle-school science teacher; a rich faith and connections in the church he helped establish 64 years ago; and four children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, who were his greatest joy. But the heart feels an unspeakable loss. We miss him dreadfully.
I was blown away during visitation meeting students our father taught, as long ago as the late-1950s, who came to pay their respect. One former pupil, now a successful businessman, told us Dad was his mentor. He helped the then-struggling 7th grader find his lifelong career path. So many stories like this! We knew Dad loved teaching, but we never realized the abiding impacts he made.
So, I will be off Cat's Corner as we close a chapter in our family history and come to terms with our loss. I'll return in April, eager to connect with you once again. I’m also polishing my fourth book - Sweet and the Turtle Team - and adding a special dedication:
Thanks for understanding. Catch you soon.
Oh Cat, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your father. The way you've described him to me is someone truly special, that I would have loved to know. It's never easy when we lose a loved one, it breaks our hearts in ways we never thought possible. My heart aches for you, and your family. Hugs, love, and prayers during this difficult time.
3/17/2017 09:09:13 am
He was someone truly special, Carmela. He knew of you through our conversations about my work -:D I appreciate your kind thoughts..
3/16/2017 06:38:30 pm
Cat, my heart goes out to you. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things we have to go through. It has been a year and a half since I lost my Mom Time doesn't erase the pain, but it does help you heal. My prayers are with you as you go through the grieving process. Sending lots of love and support your way!
3/17/2017 09:11:27 am
Julie, I remember the wrenching times you went through wth your mom. Thanks for reminding me about the healing powers of passing time and for sending your support. xxxx
3/17/2017 09:13:29 am
I appreciate your kind words, PJ. Most grateful for you.
3/18/2017 10:15:57 am
Love and prayers in abundance, Cat xx
3/18/2017 12:47:41 pm
Eiry, most grateful for *you* and your kind thoughts.
3/18/2017 06:55:45 pm
Cat, it's been 13 years this month since we lost my dad. While time heals some of the pain, you just learn to live with the rest. I always remember my son saw a rainbow when my dad passed and said it was here to take him to heaven. Now, whenever we see a rainbow, we say dad is visiting. Hope this helps.
3/20/2017 11:34:20 am
Sandra, what beautiful memories of your father and precious ways you keep his spirit with you. I appreciate you sharing how you take comfort from your time with him. Something I must learn to do, too.
3/16/2021 02:25:43 pm
I thought about this for a long time, as I received a call like yours about ten years ago. In my heart of hearts, I can't believe that you could have been any closer to your father than during those travel hours as you sifted through all the lovely memories. You are in our hearts and prayers.
3/17/2021 08:17:15 am
Peggy, sorry you, too, were in such a situation. Your kind words take my breath away and soften the hole in my heart left by my loss.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Blogging about books, writing, family life, travel and more good stuff.