Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We buried my beloved father today.

As you know, he valiantly fought lung cancer for the last eleven months but unfortunately, he lost the battle. He developed pneumonia last Wednesday and was taken to the hospital. They didn't expect him to survive the night but somehow, he did.

He was a little stronger on Thursday but we knew his prognosis was not good. By Friday morning, he was quickly declining. My father, ever the optimist and never one to complain, stated that he was having a "bad day" which, in itself, revealed the gravity of his condition.

The doctor suggested we transfer him to Hospice House and Dad agreed. He knew that his days were few and he didn't want to take his final breath in a hospital room. His hospice nurse arranged for the transport and Dad, the consummate gentleman to the end, held out his hand to greet the men who would be transporting him.

He passed peacefully the next day, taking his last breath as we all sat vigil at his bedside.

I never pictured the day that I would be choosing the clothes to bury my father in so it was almost surreal to be going through his closet doing just that less than 24 hours later.

The funeral home that we chose is one that we've had experiences with in the past and they're really great to work with. The business was started in the early 1900's by their grandfather in a largely Italian part of Cleveland. In the mid-60's, they moved to a suburb that is highly populated by Italians as well and the family is pretty old school.

As we were meeting with Nick, the phone rang and he excused himself to answer it. He explained that he was the only one there that day so he was going to call his mother to see if she would answer the phone. He was a little anxious that she might be upset because she was in the middle of making meatballs. My father would have been so amused by that.

Further into our consultation, brothers, Anthony Jr. and Dominic came in to express their condolences as well. My mother took no time to find out which of the brothers was single and practically pushed my chair in his direction.

It was Dominic, by the way.

I'm not really sure if she was trying to get me a date or get herself a discount.

Neither one happened.

We bickered over the details and that kept the tears at bay. As we got in the car, she turned to me and said, "You're still going to Weight Watchers when this is over."

You know how my mother is horrified that I've gained 40 pounds. Well, she tricked me into promising my dying father that I would join Weight Watchers and Saturday was to have been my first day.

It's nice to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


  1. It is an endlessly sorrowful thing to lose your father. Good wishes to you.

  2. I was in tears for the first half of this post and smiling by the end; I know your family will be just fine, as what a heart-warming attitude you all have in the middle of such angst. Your father sounded truly the kind, loving gentleman. Lots of love to you and your family xo

  3. Condolences to you and your family. It is a pain we all share.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your dad would be proud of your strength.

  5. There are no words to make it better but just know you have folks who care and are thinking of you and your family. God Bless.

  6. I feel your pain. My father's end was much like yours. (((cyber hugs)))

    I know this isn't very nice of me but someone needs to give your mom a dope slap.


  7. Beautiful post, Chrissy.

    Like Jody shared...

    "I was in tears for the first half of this post and smiling by the end."

    Reading this reminded me so much of my own father's death. You said it perfectly, surreal.

    Know that you are dearly loved and supported by those of us here.

    (((( x Chrissy x ))))

    P.S. hugs to Bernie.

  8. Chrissy, my condolences to you and your family.

  9. I don't really know you, but in reading your blog, I feel like I do. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I hope the good memories of your daddy will help sustain you through your grieving. God Bless!

  10. So sorry to hear of your loss...but glad that you were able to be present for him, as I was with my mom...many hugs to you and your family....oxox

  11. Love shared, lasts forever. You will love him...on a different plane now, but he will be there in so many thoughts and will smile to know it is because of him, who you are...

  12. Very sorry for your loss, and extremely impressed with your ability to maintain a sense of humor. I have to guess your father would be proud. All the best to you and your family.

  13. I'm so sorry for you and your family. Hang in there...

  14. Prayers and good thoughts being sent your way. I hope your wonderful memories of your Dad comfort you.

  15. Im very sorry for your Loss...You dad looks very much like my own Uncle Noonie...Bless your family!

  16. Found this through f8...

    Regardless of when one's time comes, it's never the right time. My Mom has been gone way too many years... and my Dad, 15 years... while reading your post, all of those emotions come back...

    You will always love your Dad... you will never forget him. You wrote a wonderful tribute to him. *hugs*


  17. The Wonder Horse and I send our condolences. Losing a loved one is never easy.

  18. @Laoch,
    Thank you.

    Thanks for your kind words. We do come from a long line of survivors.

    @R. Jacob,
    Thanks. Sorry you're a member of the club, too.

    @Travel Girl,
    Thank you.

  19. @Simply Suthern,
    Thanks. I feel the love and it really helps.

    Thanks. SOrry about your Dad, too. Not nice, but true. :-)

    Thanks for the hugs. Love 'em! We stayed with my mother and poor Bern was running all over the house looking for my dad. She couldn't sleep.

    @Mark Price,
    Thank you.

    @Comet Girl,
    Thanks so much. We do have loads of awesome memories.

    Thank you. Sorry about you mom but wonderful that you were there.

  20. @Teri and the Cats of Furrydance,
    That was beautiful, thank you. :-)

    Thank you. Our family has always relied on humor to get us through.

    @Miss Nikki,
    Thanks, Darling Nikki.

    Thank you. Happy that we have an abundance to draw from.

    Thank you.

    @Red Shoes,
    Thank you for the kind words. Sorry for your loss as well.

    @Christopher ZImmerman,
    Thanks so much. Give Wonder Horse a hug, too.

  21. Hey sweetie - I've been so wrapped up in myself lately that I've left everything else by the way side... And failed to register that all this was going on. I am so sorry to hear about your father and I'm thinking of you. Please reach out if you need a slightly nutty Swede to listen or supply hugs, even remotely. I am in awe of you, even at this difficult time finding humour and laughter in these events.

    Biggest hugs my lovely Chrissy,

    Anna - one of your biggest fans (you're bound to have many).

  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  23. Your dad sounds like he was delightful, Chrissy! My thoughts are with you as you adjust to this huge loss. *hugs*

  24. Oh, dear, I am so sorry about the loss of your father. Take care of yourself. But don't go to WW if you don't want to for crying out loud.

  25. Oh, Chrissy. So much many tears. I'm so very, very sorry.

    I shall reserve my comment about your Mother's response for a private conversation....(ahem.)

    Isn't it surreal when you're so relieved that the battle with that horrible illness is finally over...but it's completely dwarfed by the heartache of losing those we love? I found myself fantasizing the other day that I wanted to take their DNA and clone them...but MINUS that horrendous sickness-gene.

    I'm thinking about you, sweetie. Call/write if you ever want to talk.

  26. @Anna,
    Don't be silly. You couldn't have known. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Thank you. Couldn't have made it through this week without my Bernie to give me lovin'.

    He was the best. Thank you.

    Thank you. Well, I really do need to do something. I woke up this week and took a long, hard look.

    You're so right. I'm so glad he's out of pain but I want him back the way he was. I'll be in touch, thanks. :-)

  27. Sending much love your way. This is post is so beautifully written and heartfelt, I know you have a special angel applauding you.

    Love in abundance,

  28. A beautiful post about your father and family love and life. My sympathies.

    and ps, I just read Nancy's blog, and I love that the "stripper shoulda-been" is the image of the mother mary. life's little ironies make it a sweet place.

  29. @Dreamfarm Girl,
    Thank you so much.

    That's so funny that Nancy mentioned that. If only I wore red lipstick, I would have the perfect Halloween costume.

  30. Chrissy,
    So sorry to read about you losing your Dad. It's tough. It sounds like he was a special man, and I know he will always have that special place in your heart. I send peace and hugs to you and your family.

  31. Linda,
    Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts.

  32. Chrissy,
    I am so sad to hear about your father's death. You have my condolences- I hope you find comfort in your memories of him.

  33. Fancypants,
    Thank you. We do have so many happy memories.


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