Eight years of lost laughs.
Eight years of silent stories.
Eight years of mourning and moving on…of missing and making do.
And yet, the pain never truly heals.
Here I sit eight years later, and still the finality of it all strikes me like a hammer, crushing my fragile heart with its mighty heft.
I can still see him lying in that hospital bed…barely a shell of the man I once knew; a mere shadow of he that raised me.
That last night still burns in my mind:
Those haunting words…”He’s going. If you want to make your peace, now is the time.”
My mother, too hysterical to drive, and me barely keeping it together myself.
The hollow feeling in my stomach as I approached his room.
The shock that stopped me cold in my tracks.
His empty stare…
And the terrible silence. That awful, unbearable silence…
Veterans’ Day, 2007. The bitter irony.
He survived Vietnam, but could not survive his battle with cancer.
No more silly jokes or beautiful songs. His powerful voice forever silenced.
No more hugs or pats on the back. No more advice. No more meals together. No more house plans. No more Star Trek or Doctor Who. No more family trips. Nothing.
“Please, son, whatever you do, don’t get angry at God about this.”
His final request. And I intend to honor it. I will continue on this path until my Lord sees fit to call me home as well.
As always, I still “love ya bunches and gobs,” and I’ll see you again someday.
Terry Austin Morgan (5/22/46 – 11/11/07).