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Friday, June 23, 2006

How the news got to me...

On Tuesday, I was on my way out to Front Royal to celebrate a birthday of a good friend of mine, when I got a phone call from my older sister, Jane. She called to let me know that Dad wasn't doing too well, and she wanted to know how long it would take me to get on a plane to get home. I told her that I could be at Baltimore/Washington International airport (BWI) within three hours of her calling me. She told me that that moment was most likely now. I would probably have to get to BWI that night or early the next morning, because Dad was going to be gone sometime soon.

She called me back about an hour later and let me know the sad news: Dad was gone. He lost all control of his body, and he passed away shortly thereafter. It took me a minute to let it all sink in, and then to run through a list of questions in my mind: Did he die peacefully? Was he ready to go? How could I have been a better son to him? Why didn't I get to him sooner?

Then I realized that Jane was giving me flight information, and I needed to get that. After disconnecting with me, I called up John E., and he came to get me. He took me to the chapel, where I spent a few minutes praying. This was the biggest cry that I've had so far. It's been some time since I've cried about anything, so you can imagine that this one was impossible to hold in. The thing that really made me cry the most was wondering how my poor Mom was going to take this. Obviously, she had been there with him, and had held him when he died. My Mom wouldn't be anyplace else. This fact must be tearing her up, and I didn't know if I would be able to be strong at all if she started crying...

John drove me back to Herndon. I-66 was a parking lot around exit 43-47. When we got back to the apartment, Josh agreed to take me to Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). Highway 28 was a parking lot. After we picked up my stuff at the office, we discovered that I-95 north was a parking lot, too.

Nevertheless, we made it through the traffic, and he dropped me off at BWI. I got there at about 1AM, and slept there until about 3AM, when I couldn't sleep anymore. My first flight was at 06:50. The first stop was a quick stop in Chicago, and another one just as fast in St. Louis. I switched planes in Houston, and this was the only time that there was a chance that I wouldn't make it on the plane. This plane was booked solid...

I landed in Dallas Love Field at 12:55 PM, right when I was supposed to land. Liz, Jane, Mom and I headed from the airport to the funeral home to make arrangements, and stopped for dinner afterwards.

Today was the second day I cried. Mom was doing Dad's laundry. When she cried, I cried.

Aside from that, I've been taking things one day at a time. It's late, and I have to get to bed.
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