I was 18 years old.
I was home on winter break.
I went to the mall with a friend and ate dinner.
I went to my sister Donna's house after the mall.
I listened to Donna answer the phone.
I listened to Donna say that mom just got home and found daddy on the floor of the kitchen and had called the ambulance.
I sat in the car trying to remember how to do CPR.
I walked into my house, and noticed the paramedics weren't doing anything, no rush, no urgency.
I remember our Christmas tree was up.
I remember my dad lying on the floor in the kitchen. Only our dog, Lucky, had been home with him.
I handed one of the medics one of the pieces of equipment he had left in our office.
I remember there was no autopsy because my dad's doctor was sure it was a heart attack.
I remember his stocking was hung up on the fireplace mantel, with all of ours.
I remember my brother in law Mark trying to hug me and I shrugged him off.
I remember not wanting to see my dad's body.
I remember it took a long time for the funeral home to get him.
I remember waking up the next day and being astonished that Good Morning America was on, and that the Detroit Free Press did not mention my dad dying.
I remember seeing him in the casket and thinking how artificial & still he was.
I remember my brother in law Sam, married to Donna, crying as much as the rest of us. And it was an odd comfort.
I remember learning how important and kind it was for my friends to come to the funeral. For me.
I remember being worried about what my brother Eric was doing, and how much I loved him for giving such a stirring and beautiful eulogy.
I remember Angie coming to the cemetery, and her crying when we each put a rose on top of the casket.
I remember how sunny and freezing it was, but I didn't feel cold.
I remember the weird gathering at some place that was catered after the funeral. I thought it was so strange. But now I see it was necessary.
I remember how hollow my 19th birthday was, but my friends Angie and Megan took me to Windsor, and gave me a Michigan State sweatshirt I still have.
I remember how fiercely my mom would hug me every time I left her presence, how often we all said "I love you" to each other.
I remember looking at his clothes in the closet, and seeing his things around the house, like his infinte number of reading glasses.
I remember taking one of his plaid flannel shirts, which I still have.
I remember kissing him goodnight the night before, on the back porch, while he watched TV. I remember I gave him a real hug and kiss, instead of the sullen perfunctory teenage "g'nite."
And I wish.
I wish I wish I wish...
That he could know Brody, bevase those two would love each other.
That I had one more minute, one more conversation, one more hug.
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