For the last three and a half weeks, it’s been a nightmare shocking whirlwind of the death of my father. For the first time here on WordPress, I’m going to summarize the feeling that I experienced losing Dad. This post will be in three parts.
The last time I saw my father alive was Sunday, February 19th, 2017. He was last looking at a picture album full of past funeral bulletins in the last decade or so. As my father was looking at the book and summarizing the funreal programs of my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles (his parents and siblings) he realized to my mother that he was the last one. The last of the 10. My Dad was the youngest of the five brothers, my uncles. His last visit to my sister’s house in Milwaukee, was February 21st, 2017. He told my mother that he had to go to the store, and then home. He also told my sister that he was prepared to leave. That was the last time collectively within those two days we saw him alive.
A couple days later, my sister had to be admitted to the hospital for her health needs. And all day my mother had been calling Dad. Finding out where he was in all. No answer. Same day, no Answer.When Thursday came, I was going to my Aunt’s house to take over a recipe for a Black History Month Event at a Milwaukee Elementary School. It was a Thursday night watching Scandal and getting prepared. After a middle of that, I received a call from my mother to see how things are going.She also advised me to go over to the house to check in on Dad to see how he was doing. Plus again, no answer. So after I left my Aunt’s house I headed over my parents house. First I called into the house. No answer. Then I walked to the front door and rang the doorbell. Nothing.Then I checked the mailbox and it was full. That was odd to me because it’s not like my father to keep the mailbox this full. He usually takes in the mail and sorts it for myself, my sister and mother. Then I went around to the backdoor to try to gain access to the door. One vital factor,I needed the keys to get in. I had to return to my sister’s house to get the keys in my backpack. Then while I was there, I dropped off the cornbread and called the house to see if my father would pick up. I left a voicemail message to see if he would answer it. No avail. And I told myself that “if he doesn’t answer in the next fifteen minutes, I’m going over there.” So I got back in my mother’s minivan and returned to my parents house. Having a feeling of being scared I went inside just to see what’s been going on. I accessed the backdoor to get into the house yet again. While looking around I had my mother on the cell checking in. I looked upstairs to see if was there. Nothing. Along the way in the living room and nothing but his brown hoodie on the couch next to his Vietnam Veteran Flag. But then, I went downstairs to the basement, where his Entertainment Room was full of movies and CD’s, plus a table, an easel drawing from 1991. And my father was on the floor. I told my mother, “Mom, Dad’s on the floor!” And she asked “what do you mean he’s on the floor?” I called out to Dad to wake him up. Even I shook him a bit to wake him up. I checked his pulse on his neck and wrist. No pulse. Nothing. Then I told Mom that he was not responding. I called 911 to have the parimedics to come, and while they were arriving I turned him over to have him face up, then did the CPR compressions to try to revive him. His head was slightly bloodied appeared he hit his head hard. And his Right Arm was bloodied with his blood tissue sticking out. (Warning Graphic Words) When the Parimedics came, they took over and asked the questions. Moments later my mother called to see if we’re there any results, but the bad news that my father who gave me his name….had been dead for two days. I was shocked and numb! And sad. My mother and sister: Sad. Grieving. I was in disbelief. MY OWN FATHER!!! My 69 year old father, died. I was just absolutely shocked sad and numb all around. Later on , the Milwaukee Police Department came over to investigate the basement where he died. And between the police and the Parimedics, I had to answer the tough questions like: “When was the last time you talked with him?” My mind kept thinking back to Sunday, February 19th for a reason. In which that was the final time I saw him alive. Another question: “What kind of medications was he taking? He was taking his medications to upkeep his health, including his blood sugar to see how he was doing in which at the time was his focus. “Was he a smoker? At the time, Dad quit smoking in October 2009 after a major colon surgery. Which he lived to talked about it. And other Health conditions in all. With all that going on, I had to take control of the situation. I didn’t panic, nor freak out. I maintained my composure, answered the many questions as possible and they were impressed. I told them about the work history of what my father did from Allis Chalmers, Pfister and Vogel Tannery, the VA Medical Center and the US Postal Service. Plus I mentioned his military service with the US Army and served during the Vietnam War. I also described an attire that he wore the most of his dark blue shirts, blue jeans & shoes. He usually dressed like that in order to do work around the house, or other houses if needed.
My relatives mostly my cousins, aunt’s and uncles, all came over. Plus for a stint, it was dead silence. And the thunderstorm was brewing above with hailstones early Friday Morning. Later, my pastor and his wife came over to check out the situation. After many was assembled we all had prayer. I started to say that “you know me since the beginning. You know what I’m about”. After the prayer, I was given the honors to cover up my Dad with a yellow sheet. But before I did that, I uttered the words “you empowered me sir. You Empowered me!” And I made another vow “I got your back.” After I covered him up, I went back upstairs with the family by shutting the doors. Plus there were others from the Milwaukee County Coroner’s office wanted additional info to provide in all. Moments later, my pastor and one of my older cousins wanted to see Dad. I took them downstairs to the room, uncovered the sheet and at the moment, my pastor have given a prayer at the spot. He wanted to see him, and he did. Not a good look for my cousin’s reaction with grief. After that, we went back upstairs with me covering up the sheet and closing the door. Much later, I felt I needed to take a break, and sat in my Dad’s bedroom. Then, my mother came in the house, sobbing. And she called out my name when I was upstairs. I went to her immediately and hugged her tight. She thanked me for coming over knowing that I had felt scared of what happened to Dad. She was relieved of that part. Later on she wanted to go downstairs to see Dad. Along the way, she saw his last meal of greens and Barbecue Porkchops. As myself, my mother and uncle went downstairs, I opened the doors and the three of us hugged each other tightly while grieving. All she saw was him covered up except his foot. And after that, I closed the doors to his Entertainment room. Much later, here come the Undertakers. The representatives from a local Funeral Home stopped by to get Dad out of the room and with him covered. They got him and took him away to do further summarizations of his death and what lead to it.
After that, I looked to the heavens and told my late grandparents, aunts and uncles that “S.T. is home.” Meaning that he was on his way to be with them. S.T. was my Dad’s nickname growing up.
Many of us had our hugs, but I had many of them the most. After all that, this was the most hard beginnings I began to endure.
Part two of “Losing Dad” will continue featuring the hard facebook post, and preparations for his funeral.