(Always with me)
Daddy always told mom that she would out live him. It was the one thing he never wavered on no matter how much we tried to tell him that God hadn’t revealed that to us. But, turns out daddy was right. On
Saturday, March 26, 2011, the Lord called daddy home.
Dad’s body had been waging a war for years, first the diabetes, then the heart disease and high blood pressure, and finally the kidney damage that resulted from the high blood pressure. I keep thinking anybody else, the battle would have been lost years ago. But daddy was like a prize fighter and kept battling. But this year was an especially tough year for dad. Eventually, his kidneys couldn’t take any more and begin shutting down.
I suppose we could have extended his life through dialysis but daddy was adamant about not going on dialysis and wanted no heroic measures taken to prolong his life. Besides, due to all his other health issues, especially his heart, daddy wasn’t a candidate for dialysis anyway.
In my life, there have been two men that were larger than life to me. One of those two men was my maternal grandfather, LC Hosch, who was called home in 1978. The other, of course, was my father.
As it became evident that the Lord was calling dad on home, I reflected on our time together during these past 50 years.
Like practically every little girl from my era growing up in the South, I learned to drive almost as soon as I could walk. Sitting on dad’s lap, barely able to peer over the steering wheel, daddy pressed the gas pedal and brakes while I did the steering or so I thought.
I use to always want a brother or sister but truth is I already had one even though he was dad, too. Like any big brother, dad use to pick at me something fierce. One episode that I recall was when I was trying to get some reading done. When I was young, I loved to read. So, I was trying to read and dad kept flicking the lights on and off. And like any little sister would do, I yelled for mom to make daddy stop.
Daddy could be the ultimate funny man, too. One morning when I was in sixth grade, as mom was preparing breakfast and I was getting ready for school, daddy suddenly started talking about the next thing you know Mavis will have some ‘ole’ guy up in here. As he walked through our living room toward the kitchen mom and I heard “How do you do sir?” I’m thinking who is he talking to when he says “She’ll be right out.” Daddy was practicing for me dating.
Daddy didn’t have a lot of hobbies but whenever he developed a new interest the whole family had to take on this new hobby whether it be chess, ham radio, or whatever. When I say whole family, I’m not just talking about me and mom but his brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces, too. To this day, I can still hear the sounds of Morse Code in my head.
Both of my parents taught me to dream big especially dad. As such, I got to experience places and things that most children from my generation didn’t such as trips to the
and Bahamas Europe. And no offense to my friends and family who are nurses, but when I thought about being a Nurse, daddy told me that Nurses were a dime a dozen, find something else to do. He never knew how much that mandate truly helped as I learned I really can’t handle the sight of other people’s blood even though daddy’s main reason for telling me that was because Nurses didn’t make enough money.
In the final months of his life, I think dad knew that his life was drawing to a close even if we didn’t always pick up on all the signs. Although dad had many health issues and crises during the years, these last few months were different. In hindsight, I can now see clearly what I only suspected at the time was occurring. Over those last few weeks, daddy reminded me of the importance of church and God, and told me to stay in church, something he had never done before. It was like he was seeing my life too and knew that there were times like many of us that I sometimes struggled in this area of my life and knew that I would need both God and the Church to endure the pain of losing him. He told both mom and me how much he loved us, also telling both me and his caretakers how mom had really stuck by him.
Like any child, especially an only child, I would have loved more time with my dad. Through all of dad’s crises, I use to always tell God that I wasn’t ready to let go just yet because I still needed my daddy. But in those final days and hours of dad’s life, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do which was release daddy back to the one who had given him to me as my father. Even though he was no longer able to respond, I let daddy know that mom and I would be okay and that he would always be with us.