I’ve been avoiding writing this post for a few days now. I think it’s why my heart has been hurting so much today, because I’m avoiding facing the truth that my dad has been dead for 10 years. It’s something I’ve been avoiding admitting for some time. I shoved it as far deep in my belly as I could so I wouldn’t have to face the truth. After he died, I remained strong for my family, I went to work to keep my mind off of things, I kept living my life to avoid the fact that he was gone. Maybe when he died that’s when all this avoidant behavior began, avoiding people that hurt me so that I couldn’t be left ever again, always leaving first and making sure I wasn’t left. A false sense of control in a world that took mine away.
I’d love to share a beautiful story about my dad though: his final wish.
I arrived early at the hospital because my math class got out earlier than usual. They were in the middle of decorating his hospital room when I came in. They dressed my dad in normal clothes and he sat in the chair waiting patiently. I asked what was going on. They told me to pick out a song on the CD’s and they would explain. The main woman that had been working with my dad through his kemo treatments asked him what his last wishes were since all of his organs started failing him. First he said a turkey sandwich. She laughed and said he was easy to please. Then he said, “The last time I danced with my daughter was at my niece’s wedding. I won’t be able to dance with her at her own wedding, so I’d like to dance with her one last time.”
They informed me that the room was being set up for our daddy daughter dance. They hung Christmas lights around the whole room. A woman went out to buy me roses and came back to hold them like a bouquet in my hands. Then I chose our song that we would dance to, “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music. It wasn’t my top song choice, but of the music selection they had, it would have to do. I wanted that one country music song that Becca Gass said she wanted to dance to at her wedding because it was such a perfect song.
The music started and my daddy took my hand and we slowly cascaded across the linoleum ballroom floor, with twinkly lights overhead. We hugged each other close and bawled our eyes out knowing it would be the last time.
To one of my best friends, my daddy, Raymond A. Olbrantz, October 6, 1947 – May 26, 2007.