Death of Four-Father
Jimmy was buried in a single plot in the Gates Of Heaven Cemetery, but as my mother’s wishes were for him to join him and my father in a triple plot and so the move was made. A granite monument was erected over the three plot site and my mothers and brother’s particulars etched into it forever. Somehow the empty space reserved for my Dad looked eerily back at me each time I went to the graveyard for a visit and hid prophecy of three deaths played on my mind a lot.
Dad never returned to Prince Edward Island to live, with the insurance money from my brother’s death he bought a little bungalow here in town and hoped that Mom would get well enough to live there with him. It never happened of course so now my other brother and his wife moved in with him to help look after him and give him company. If the two deaths seriously affected him he never seemed to show it to us kids too much. Things reverted to as much a normality as possible and we shared Christmas with Dad as if he would be around forever and at this time we had no reason to suspect otherwise. New years found him well and reasonably happy and it was only after New Years was over that he complained of stomach pain. He was admitted to hospital where for two weeks no diagnosis could be reached, then once again like mother he was transferred to the Victoria General and in a matter of hours the doctors informed us he had cancer of the bowels.
Shock filled our faces and tears filled our eyes as the doctor in a serious tone to our question said he had to be operated on immediately and gave us 50/50 odds for him surviving. The alternative a long slow agonizing death. Looking around that hospital room at his children he smiled and said will I guess it’s a go then, can’t go on like this. We all kissed him and held his hand one last time before the nurses came in to start prepping him. In the hallway tears spilled and grown men tried to hold them back but I failed, I couldn’t stop replaying old memories, not just oh my dad, but of my mother and brother too and I thought will it ever stop.
After hours in the operating room the doctor finally came out to talk to us. He said they had done all they could but now it was up to him. He would be on life support and if he survived the night he had a chance. Slim hope but a hope none the less. That evening most of the family went home to tend their own families and it was down to my brother and I on either side of Dad holding his hand and praying for a miracle. The doctor had gave us the numbers for the life support system and told us if they dropped below then technically he would be dead and so we watched those monitors and every time we felt a twitch of our own muscles we’d jump hoping it was Dad returning our grips on his hand but it never was. Early in the morning hours like my mother and brother, when it seems almost fitting to die, we advised the medical team to shut down the life support. Dad’s struggles on earth were many and now it was time for him to reunite with his wife and son and enjoy the heavenly rewards he’d earned.
The fourth death….that was mine because losing three people I loved so dearly killed a part of me as well. Oh yes I went on to marry, raise a daughter, have a career and all of that…but it was a different person who walked out of that hospital that night. One who buried the deaths, buried the dates, buried part of his religion and his faith never to regain it again.