In the very early morning of December 13th, 1999, my sister woke me up and told me that our dad had just passed away in the hospital.
I guess that is the kind of a moment that one never forgets, as long as one lives.
Ten years ago, today.
I had just arrived back "home" by plane the evening before this.
My father had been in and out of the hospital many times over the previous few years, as congestive heart failure progressively debilitated him.
Several times I had returned home... several times he had gotten better. And several times he had returned back to his own home on Argyle Street.
I knew though that this time, in December of '99, the one inexorable aspect of life was about to take place.
So did my father. He also knew.
I was driven straight from the airport to his private room at the Pasqua Hospital.
My mother and the rest of my siblings had already been there a while, and so, they left me to be alone with Dad.
My father seemed to be asleep at the time. Even peacefully so.
It would have been nice to shake him awake and say, "Dawn is breaking. This is when the fish are biting, Dad!"
It would have been an awesome moment for him to awaken, and smile at me -- and maybe we would both laugh at something unsaid.
But what happened, in reality, was far more awesome...
I bent down and kissed his forehead. Told him I was there, and that I loved him.
And with what I can only assume was his final act upon this earth, he partially opened his eyes and lifted his arms to my neck, for but a second, after which they fell back to his side.
I sat beside him holding his hand, as one by one, my brother and sisters and my mother came back into the room.
After some hushed discussion, we left.
And the rest I've already told you, in the first sentences, above.
He waited for me.
I miss you, Dad.
If forgiveness is needed, then I beg it of you Dear Puddle-Reader, for allowing me to use my blogpage to give This Man a big hug tonight.