to say goodbye

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When last I wrote, I was on my way to Tucson to spend some time with my father and family. What was meant to be a relaxing weekend catching up with people I haven’t seen in decades became sometime much more profound.

It became obvious part way through the long weekend, that my Dad was not doing well. He was weak and fragile, could hardly walk. He took a pretty hard fall on Friday night, but refused to seek treatment. The next day he was slurring his words, listing to the side and overall not doing well.

On Sunday, we talked him into getting some in-home health care, and I headed out, knowing I’d likely be back within a week to get that health care set up for him. Several hours after I left, I got a call from family that things had gotten worse, they’d called EMTs and he had refused to allow them to take him to the hospital.

I got on the phone with him, hoping to convince him to go be seen, but all he wanted was another cigarette. I screamed at him. A lot.

But, you can’t force a grown man to do what’s right for himself, and when I stopped for the night on the drive home, I had a gut feeling in my stomach that he wouldn’t wake up in the morning.

At around 6:30 am, I got the phone call that confirmed my gut feeling. My father was dead.

I had to finish the drive home, wracked with grief and guilt, only to turn around and fly back with my brother to help my step-mother get stuff handled.

It’s one of those things that you will never understand until you have to…how much work there is in wrapping up a life. So many little things, so much work to manage…and such a waiting game.

So far, I think we’ve managed a lot. We have a celebration of life scheduled for the 5th of November. I leave Tucson on Tuesday, and fly back on the 3rd. Hopefully we’ll have the death certificate by then so we can go about the business of handling the SS, the bank accounts, etc. I’ll be taking my father’s 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, so we’ll need to deal with the title on that too.

So many details…so much paperwork. And yet, it’s an odd thing to boil down 75 years of living into a stack of papers and the stuff he accumulated.

Today I hope to tackle getting my step mother set up so that her bills are paid automatically, and then help her clear out the thousands of slips of paper that are only lending to her confusion.

For now though, I’m sipping on some coffee and waiting for my brother to wake up so we can head back over there. Happy Saturday, Readers.

E. Bryan Case Obituary

Photo by Storiès on Unsplash

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