I love you dad.

Six years ago this week, my dad died.

In the weeks before his death, I struggled with when to leave my home in California and get to Florida to see him.

If you’ve ever had someone close to you dying far away, you know this struggle.

You don’t want to go so soon that you get there and have to get back to work and kids before your loved one passes.

And at the same time, you don’t want to wait so long that you miss being there at the end.

As a mom of two young children and a very needy bricks and mortar business to run, I was torn.

When to go?

In the middle of the night I was scheduled to fly out, the phone rang.

As soon as I heard it, I knew. He was either gone or would be soon.

I jumped out of bed to answer the phone and my sister and stepmom were on the other end letting me know, he was going without me.

I wouldn’t make it in time to see him.

I think he knew I was coming the next day and didn’t want me to see him at the very end, a mere shadow of himself.

We were resolved; had said the things there were to say; had talked on the phone nearly every day before he got too sick for that.

I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him.

And he chose to go before I got there.

Thanks Dad. You were always my hero. In life as in death.

I love you.


  1. The Napkin DadMonday, September 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm 

    Always hard to know, no doubt. My mother passed very suddenly over 20 years ago, and there were no goodbyes at all. You are blessed to have been able to talk to him, say what you wanted to say, and hear his loving words. I appreciate you telling this story.

  2. Courtney MartinMonday, September 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm 

    It’s interesting – maybe because he and I did not have the same relationship in life, it was more important both for me and for him that I could be there to ease his transition to death.

    I miss him.

  3. AnonymousMonday, September 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm 

    And this is exactly why we moved to be near my mom almost as soon as she was diagnosed with cancer. You just never know and for me, I just want to be here for her for at least a year while she is going through this.

    You have a very loving way of seeing the experience of your dad’s passing and a very clear acceptance that it was okay that you weren’t there. That’s amazing, Lex. Good for you. And this is a very nice way to remember him. No pic?

  4. CindyTuesday, September 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm 

    Aww.. Lex (and Courntey)….What a beautiful and personal story to share! I remember you going through this and you have sure come a long way!!! May his memory forever be a blessing to you and may he always be your very own hero! xox

  5. JillWednesday, September 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm 

    As a firefighter/EMT and as a friend I have been there at the end for many, and I wanted to hold my mom at the end but she was a private person throughout her life and apparently wanted to do it her way. She hid from me that she was nearing the end. I had a hard time with this initially but I have talked candidly with enough people about their loved ones transitions that I am finding more peace everyday.

    May you feel his presence always. God Bless

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