My sister called just twenty minutes before, and said to come. Now. That Dad was in the hospital with some type of infection and it doesn't look good.
Doesn't look good? Last night he was out with friends having dinner. What do you mean, doesn't look good?
She could say no more through her tears. In the background I hear chaos; people rushing about, shrill beeping from some type of hospital machinery.
"Just come," she sobs. "I'll call you if anything happens, but you need to be here".
And so I find myself with my face against the glass, my phone perched on my lap and praying like mad that it won't ring, because I know what that would mean.
Is PopPop going to die? comes Finn's small, scared voice from the backseat.
I reach back and clutch his little hand. I can't find any words.
We don't know, Buddy, Steve replies.
Please don't ring, please don't ring, I think.
Outside the window the world rushes by; people drive in their cars from one place to another like it is any other day. Rain pours from the heavens, streaking down my window like tears. I watch the drops shimmy across the glass.
Time slows to a crawl, and I feel each second tick by like an eternity. I want to reach my arms out and clutch the air, grind time to a halt, bask in this small moment of not-knowing.
My phone rings, and just like that the world turns upside down.
My Dad died yesterday from an infection that came on suddenly, and spread quickly due to complications from having his spleen removed years ago when he fought - and beat - lymphoma.
I'm sitting here at 4:20am, unable to sleep and needing to write something, however small, in this space. There aren't adequate words, not yet, to describe the gaping hole we're all feeling at his loss. It was so sudden, so unexpected, that it is hard to wrap our minds around it all.
Yesterday I could have picked up the phone and called him, because he was in the world, and today I can't. I feel him everywhere, though, and through all the pain there is an odd sense of peace, of knowing that the spirit of my Dad lives on in all of us.
But right now? It hurts a lot.
Someday soon I may be able to talk about who he was and what he meant to all of us, but at the moment we're simply stepping gingerly from one moment to the next.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We can feel them, and they matter.
I love you, Dad.