The clerk motioned me to the “purple room” The “Purple room” was for cardiac patients. I turned the corner and stepped over the threshold to see a doctor, in his white coat, writing at a podium. The doctor, ever so breifly, glanced at me and went back to work. Then I saw Dad.
Dad was lying on a gurney, wearing his light blue button down shirt and jeans. There was a white tube sticking out of his mouth. The tube was ridiculously huge to me. Beside the tube, Dad’s pale pink tongue limply hung from the corner of his mouth. His blue eyes stared blankly towards the ceiling. I reached out and held his warm, clammy hand.
Startling me, the doctor began to speak. “I am sorry” he said, “we could only perform CPR for forty minutes.” The doctor explained that the white tube was used for the air pump. Time of Death was announced at 10:12 am. Dad was gone.
I leaned down, hugged him. All of the emotions that I had felt when I was ten raced into me. I sobbed into his chest as a horrible ache swelled up inside of me. The pain was so much stronger than all of the years ago. I had lost my best friend, the most intelligent person I ever knew and my only true confidant.
Years have passed since then but I think of him every day. I keep a red velvet box that holds an ash filled brass heart on the shelf in my dining room. Dad sits with us for every shared cup of coffee and every meal. He is there for every birthday wish and every Holiday greeting. That red velvet box is a constant reminder of who he was, my brass heart filled with love.
Published in: Family