Beloved Papa

It might be 48 years ago, but I remember the day as if it was just yesterday. The week had been super busy at secondary school as a break was upcoming. Cramming for exams before Easter Holidays. Papa was going on with 3 jobs. Making ends meet was of utmost importance. Mother had a saleslady job and my one sibling (the one Mother wanted) had moved to a new area for her spouse’s work and had invited us for the weekend.

Papa had worked extra shifts and finally on Thursday 14 February, we went out to do the regular weekly shopping as well as getting the extras for the trip, aka the Heart-Shaped boxes of chocolates and the cards to accompany.

What was planned that evening, shopping then home, a midnight snack of frozen egg rolls which once in the oven, were the nicest and tastiest morsels.

We came back home round quarter to nine. The building parking was pockmarked with treacherous ice. Papa, an expert driver, got our car into our bay and I was told to sit in the boot while they unloaded the groceries.

On the third trip’s return from our flat, I saw Mother flapping the building door and then she yell at me to get in there. I managed to fall three times before getting in. Upon which Papa expired in front of me. I was just 13.

Everything went so quickly after all the commotion, I closed Papa’s eyes and ran upstairs to call our emergency numbers. I closed up the flat as best I could, putting the frozen things in freezer and the fridge, I left the other bags on the counter. By the time I was downstairs again, Papa was being loaded in the back of the ambulance, we crammed ourselves with the driver on the front seat and we took off.

Taking a sharp right hand corner, is when I saw the biggest needle being injected into my Papa’s heart. That is when I realised the severity of the situation. I had taken a mental note of the time, that was 21:15.

We arrived at the hospital emergency entrance and the last words I heard before coming out of the ambulance, were not good… DOA!

It was also the last time I saw Papa’s body until Friday afternoon at the funeral parlour and by Monday, it was the church service and the burial at the cemetery.

Papa had purchased a new car in January and the delivery would have been mid-March. As he worked at the dealership, it was cancelled and we acquired a coffin that was icy blue in metal with a guarantee of 25 years to stay hermetically sealed and matching the new car’s colours.

Every nights for roughly a month, I saw Papa coming into the hallway, trying to get my attention. Until one night I heard what he was saying. He apologised for leaving me so soon and said he’d be with me all the days required until someone was going to come into my life and rescue me.

I felt at peace and was coping as best I could. School didn’t happen until May. Long story short, I’ve no idea how I completed that year! I faced brutal bullies daily laughing at me for having lost my beloved Father. I saw him another three times before hubby came into my life and things got great again. It gets better, trust me I know, but you go through major events in your life where you wish that he was still there to experience and share life’s happy celebration.

Once the lost one is in your heart and soul, you know they’re with you on your own journey forever! I still have unanswered questions and whenever we’re into a new place, I know, deep in my heart, that my guardian angels along with Papa at the head of the pack. Keep busy try to rest as much as possible and think of them every day. Blessed be!

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Hi @CDB, thank you so much for sharing your memories and feelings with us - I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved papa. Please keep reaching out - we’re listening.

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CDB…I am so sorry for the loss of your Papa!!! Thanks for taking the time to share your story. My wonderful daddy who I called Pop passed away June 5th 2022. He was 74. I was and still am a daddy’s girl. and a only child. Bless you and thanks for giving me hope in this dark time! I know he is in my heart forever!

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