I woke up today with the emptiness again. I was reminded of the loss, and it took me to a place of remembrance, a sense of nostalgia. I was reminded of the day that changed everything.
I woke up excited. We always had a tradition. It was one of those consistencies that you know is always going to be there. It wasn’t something that was taken for granted but an extreme confidence that it was always going to be there.
I can remember the original ninja turtles movies. I can remember the Bruce Lee movies. I remember when terminator 2 came out on VHS. We wanted the movie so much, and we got it. More on that later.
I remember the security. I remember the boldness in knowing that I had someone that was always going to be there. I had someone to turn to in times of uncertainty and fear. I was a child who had a father that always came through.
I was a freshman in high school. I had just turned fifteen, and I was just waiting in anticipation for the slip of paper from the office to release me from class. I couldn’t concentrate on school. I knew a free day was in the works, and it was only a matter of time. Then it came…
I grabbed all my belongings and headed t the office knowing my dad was there to take me to the movies. It never failed. It was our time of bonding. Then, the confusion set in…
I got to the office and found my mom waiting for me. She looked sad. She didn’t say much in the office. When we got in the car, she looked at me and said your dad is at the hospital and that’s all I know.
Immediately, the greatest experience of fear and emptiness came over me. I don’t know why, but I instantly starting contemplating the worst possible scenario. The ride to the hospital was the quietest moment of my whole life. I don’t think either one of us said anything the whole ride there.
We walked into a waiting room, and my oldest brother was there crying. He is deaf, and he couldn’t sign. He was so overcome by emotion that he was a shell of himself. He wouldn’t respond or look at anyone. I didn’t know what was going on. I had started to gain a sense of hopefulness from the walk to the car into the hospital, but that all changed when I saw my brother.
I was just sitting there while my mom went to find someone to get an update. Then, I noticed a piece of paper on the ground that had been balled up and thrown on the floor. It was someone who was writing to my deaf brother to tell him what was going on. I looked over it, and I saw it. The words that changed my life forever…
“You can find your dad in the morgue.”