I woke up this morning hoping the last twenty hours weren't true. I hoped that I'd be able to turn over, grab my cell phone, and call my Dad. I could hear his, "Yellow?" as he answered his phone. I'd sit and listen about his day, hear the same two or three stories I heard last time I talked to him, and tell him how my life was going. I'd laugh at his bad jokes and mentally file them away to use them later.
Instead, I now live in a world where my father is no longer here. I've held my mother as she cried and been there for my brother has he crumpled to the floor in a mixture of anger and bottomless sorrow. I've talked to family friends that I haven't talked to in years for the sole purpose of passing on tragedy. I've stood in my Dad's apartment, listening to the emptiness and expecting to see him around every corner. I hear him sneeze. I hear him laugh. It's just not real.
Today I get to finalize details for the services, which will take place sometime next week. Due to circumstances and Dad's general feelings ("Do whatever you like, I won't be there.") he will spend his eternal rest inside an urn. He had no signatories or a will, so my next steps are getting the ball rolling on the legal front and figuring out how to deal with his cluttered apartment, which needs to be cleared in a matter of days.
This sucks. I loved my father very much. I know he loved me. The last time we got together it was two days before Christmas. We got a hamburger and saw True Grit. It is a fine final memory and I just hold on to that when I break down. Thank you all for the sympathy, thoughts, and prayers. I have been reading and re-reading them to help keep my head above water. I am truly blessed.