Well, today is June 22, 1999..and things aren't so great.

My dad died yesterday.

That has to be the hardest thing I think I've ever had to type.

As I type this, the tears are running down my face, and my thoughts haven't been too clear lately, so as I type this, I may make a few mistakes. I apologize.

For the past week, my dad's condition deteriorated very quickly. Like I've said before, he's hallucinated and whatnot, and hadn't been himself.

My stepmother had a hard time taking care of him for the past week because he would not sleep through the night, and wandered around the house aimlessly every night. Different family members would come by to stay the night and help out as best as they could. I stayed one night last week, but amazingly, wasn't woken up one time because my father behaved the entire time that night.

He was hooked up to an oxygen machine because he had such a hard time breathing on his own, gasping for air and choking on his own phlegm.

This past Sunday, I stayed at their house to help out for the night, and it seemed to be going well. I got there at about 5 or 6 in the afternoon and some of the family were there, and they were talking to my dad about his condition. He seemed to have a clear head (for once) and wanted to talk about what was happening to him, since he seemed to have forgotten the day his doctor told him that he only had one week to a month to live.

When I got there, he immediately became silent and didn't want to discuss his condition, or the possibility of his passing in front of me, and his eyes weld up with tears because he wanted to protect me, I guess.

Some time after that, everyone left and it was just my stepmom, dad, and myself. Things seemed to be okay although my dad was having some trouble breathing, but no worse than he normally did.

He became really out of it, taking off his oxygen mask numerous times, talking about people who (for all I know) didn't exist. Just about 10:00, he had said that he wanted the lights turned off, and that he wanted everyone to go to bed and that he would sleep on his recliner. I took my stepmother's room, which was just next to the living room they were in, and he took the recliner - she took the couch.

Just as 10:30 hit, I heard my dad call for me and I got up to see what he wanted. He sat me down, with my step mom there, and proceeded to tell me that she had poisoned him, and she was the reason he was going through so much pain. Both of us were astonished to hear him say this, and asked why he felt this way.

"For the insurance money." he said. "She wants the insurance money and she's trying to kill me." He then turned to her and said: "Why would you do this to me? Just tell me what your plan was…why you and whoever was plotting this the whole time… why?" Here he was, accusing her of murder and was determined to have her confess to committing a crime, putting him through this torture.

"I want you to come to my bedroom and help me find something," he said to me. I helped him out of his chair, and we walked back to his bedroom. First he went to his closet. I asked him what he was looking for and he said, "The guns. They're up there. Help me find them." So, knowing there wasn't any guns in his room, I pretended I was looking for them for him, pulling down folded sweaters, showing him there was not anything up on his shelf. He wobbled around to his bed, bent down next to it, and slid his hand under the mattress. "There's one under here. Will you look for it?" I agreed. I looked under the mattress, exaggerating my emotion when I found nothing. "Look in my sock drawer… there's one in there." After finding nothing, he looked at me and asked, "Do you know what an autopsy is?" I told him I did and he said, "Make sure they do one of those on me. Then the evidence will come out and will show that I'm right."

We came back out into the living room and he sat down on the couch, and I sat right beside him, holding his hand. "Where is the phone. Give me the phone. I'm going to call 911." My step mom kept explaining to him that he could not do that, and that 911 was reserved for emergencies only. "But this is and emergency. You're trying to kill me and I'm going to tell someone right now." We had to disconnect every phone in the house to prevent him from calling 911 for no reason. "I want to talk to my district attorney. I want him to know what you're doing to me. You're not going to get away with this." She started to cry, taking his words to heart, and began sobbing her grief at him, explaining how much she loved him, and has been taking great care of him since he became so sick.

He said he wanted to get dressed (he was in pj's) because he was cold. He asked me to go get his car keys, and when I refused, he asked me, "You're against me now, too?"

After he got dressed, he walked himself out to the car. He physically got into his car, looking for the keys to the ignition. When he had no luck, he finally came back into the house, and got undressed again, sitting on the recliner. He then told my step mom that he loved her and was really tired, and wanted to go to sleep. And he did just that.

Right about 2:30 a.m., I heard her call for me. Apparently, he had woken up because he couldn't breathe, and had again taken his oxygen off during his sleep. She had tried to help him put it back on and he became angry, shoving the tube up her nose. Then he had patted her down, searching for weapons or anything she might have been hiding in her nightgown. She told me as I walked out of the bedroom that he was trying to rip her nightgown off, and he looked at me with the most hateful eyes I'd ever seen. She told me that she was going to go into the kitchen to avoid agitating him any further, and that I should try to calm him down. I did, and he was still convinced that she was trying to kill him.

He told me he wanted to go to bed in the room where I had been, so I took him into the bedroom and he lay down in the bed. Shortly after laying down, he couldn't breathe again and sat back up. "Check her drawers for the guns." We went through every drawer in her room, looking through all her clothes, searching. To his surprise, we didn't find anything.

He looked at me and said, "Kill her. I want you to kill her. She's trying to kill me. I want you to kill her now." I said to him, "I can't do that, Dad." He then took a CD from off her TV stand and opened it up. My step mom then came into the room to see what was going on. He saw her and took the CD into both hands, bending it as hard as he could trying to break it. It took both her and I to try to wrestle it out of his hands. He was so mad, bending the CD that it broke into two big pieces and several little shards on the floor. She picked up the pieces and immediately took the broken CD out of his hands into the kitchen to throw them away in fear that he might hurt himself or her with the broken CD. While she was gone from the room, my dad grabbed one of his granddaughter's videotapes from off of the TV stand and proceeded to try to break it as well. I was trying to get it out of his hands and said to him, "Dad, we don't want to break this tape. It's not ours." He still tried to break it, opening the top flap of the tape, exposing the film inside. "Dad, this is Jessica's tape. You remember Jessica, don't you Dad? This is her tape you're going to break. If you break it, she won't have it anymore. Please don't break this, okay?" He immediately stopped wrestling with me and gave me the tape. He then looked at me and said, "Now you take this, and you get out."

I left the room and he shut the light off. A few seconds later I peeked my head back into the room, and saw him lying across the bed, gasping for air. He rolled over and saw me. "Go away!" I left again, walking into the living room and sat on the couch. I told my step mom what he was doing, and what he had done with the videotape.

Next, I heard loud wrestling noises and looked into the dark bedroom, only to see the large TV on its stand fall onto the floor, barely missing him as he fell back onto the bed. Both her and I ran back into the room and turned the light on. My step mom called the hospice nurse, telling her what happened, and the nurse said she was going to call for help. The nurse had told my step mom that she thought the tumors had spread to his brain, and was the cause of this violent and abnormal behavior.

No more than 10 minutes later, paramedics and a policeman was at the door, ready to help out. When the men came into the bedroom where my dad was, he immediately calmed down. I think they scared him into being calm because he was shocked to see them there. The men asked him what had happened and my dad told them that all he wanted to do was get some rest, and that his wife was trying to kill him. They got him into his regular clothes and put him on a stretcher, putting an oxygen mask on him. He was put into the ambulance and taken to the hospital.

About 20 minutes after the paramedics, police and firemen left, a social worker from the hospital came over to talk to us. She stayed for about an hour and when she left, said that she would go up to the hospital to check on him. She did call back and said he was in a nice room, was breathing better, and was sleeping peacefully.

This fun filled night lasted until 7:30 a.m. for us. I called my mom and told her what had happened, and asked her to call work for me because I would soon be passed out from exhaustion. I woke up about 9 o'clock and decided to go home and take a shower, then meet my step mom at the hospital.

I came home and I was completely worn out. I set my alarm for an hour and put my head on my pillow, and that's the last thing I remember until the annoying beeping of the alarm clock.

I got up to take a shower, and as soon as I walked out, the phone rang.

It was my aunt.

"Honey, you might want to get down here. They seem to think that Daddy's going to go within the next hour or so."

I was in my car five minutes later.

I arrived at the hospital and got up to his room, knocking on the closed door. Someone opened it, and almost everyone was there in his room. My other aunt hugged me and had my ear smashed up to her head, talking to me and I couldn't understand her.

"What?" I asked.

"Your dad is in heaven, sweetheart."

After much weeping, I went to his side. His head was turned and his eyes were closed. I touched his cold arm, looked at his chest, willing it to move with another breath.

The nurse took the IV out of his arm, and moved all the machines out of the way. A priest removed his watch from his wrist and handed it to me. I stared at it and cried.

When I left the hospital, my stepsister's husband drove me home in my car, trying to crack jokes to lighten up the mood.

I became angry with myself. Very angry.

Why did I have to take a nap?

Why couldn't I have just done what I needed to do and got to the hospital?

Why wasn't I there?

I should have been there. I deserved to be there. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be there to hold his hand. I wanted to be there to say goodbye. I wanted to tell him I love him. I wanted to kiss his cheek. I wanted to be there. Goddammit. I should have been there.

But he was gone. He died 6 minutes before I got there.

The priest told me that patients often die when their loved ones leave the room, or have not arrived to visit them yet. He said they go because they don't want family to see them die. That they want to protect them from seeing the moment of death. To protect them from it.

I wanted to be there. I wanted to kiss his cheek. I wanted to tell him that his little girl loved him and would see him some day. I wanted to hold his hand. I wanted to be there. I wanted to say goodbye.

Everyone was there to kiss him. To tell him he was loved. To say goodbye.

Except for me.

The asshole who had to lie down for an hour.

Everyone but me got to see him painless. Everyone but me got to be there.


I'll never forgive myself for not being there. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be there so bad.

I should have been there.

It's not fair.

I can't believe how selfish I was.

He's gone and I never got to say goodbye.

Daddy, I hope you know your little girl misses you.

I love you, Dad.