Despite me thinking I had covered every possible way it could have happened, when it actually did happen, it was nothing like I had ever thought it would be. Nothing. But then I doubt death or anything to do with it is ever really like anyone thinks it will be.
There were hardly any machines or cords. It wasn't in some special care ward or anything like that. It was just an ordinary day in an ordinary ward. In fact out of all of the times I had ever been through it all, this was one of the times when I was least expecting it to happen.
I had been up the night before and driving to the hospital I saw one of the most amazing moons I have ever seen. I remember thinking that it was a beautiful moon to die under and that perhaps this wasn't going to be the quick visit I thought it was going to be.
I then told myself off for thinking such ridiculous thoughts. As if it were that time this time?
I had always assured myself that I would just know when it was going to happen. Because you know, we were all close and stuff and I secretly fancied myself as a psychic some days.
From there I started to wonder if really the moon was that impressive? Perhaps I had over estimated her beauty that night? And in fact it was just an ordinary moon and I just happened to catch it in the right light giving a false impression of what I was seeing.
Maybe I had in fact seen many more a spectacular moon and dad had been just fine? Tonight would be no different. Everything would we A OK.
Of course it was already different though.
This time I wasn't racing up in the middle of the night after being woken up from one of those dreaded calls. This time I was just casually driving up after he had been taken up earlier in the day.
It was of a time when flu of the bird or swine, I can't really remember which, were prominent. I was in the early stages of pregnancy with Teapot and wasn't taking the risks associated with hanging in hospitals if I didn't need to.
Dad had been up and down for quite a few days before Mum insisted he go to the hospital. When Dad didn't object we knew we had to get him there quick, but still didn't think it was anything to be overly concerned about. Hence why all agreed it was best if I spent as little time in the hospital as possible.
When I got to the hospital the nurse offered me a face mask though assured me that they were currently clear of any real risks. I declined and she ushered me to Dad.
He had an oxygen mask, a heart monitor and a drip attached. All the usual gaff really. His eyes lit up the moment I was in sight. He knew that it was a tough time of night what with dinners and bed time and you could see he truly appreciated me popping in.
As much as I didn't like being there it was hard to stay away when you knew your presence made such a difference.
I sat and chatted for a while. Repeating the mundaneness of my day and whatever may have happened with the girls. Idle chit chat really. Just our general daily download. Which is one of the things I miss most about Dad not being here anymore. He was such a great listener. Even if he never gave much advice one way or another I always felt better just for having told him stuff. Any old stuff as well.
It was starting to get late and I decided to go home. Everything seemed to so fine. Well not fine because he was in hospital but yet I don't recall feeling much worry either.
As I left I promised to bring the paper and his glasses up first thing in the morning. It all seemed so ordinary.
Sometime after I left and before I returned Dad was transferred to an ordinary room in an ordinary ward because that is just how ordinary it all was. This also meant that first thing in the morning became more like 10am because that was the start of visiting hours on the ordinary ward.
When I got there at a little after 11. Dad was in a terrible mood. Grumpy at me because I had taken so long. I offered my feeble excuse and shrugged my shoulders. What was done was done and I thought no more of it.
Dad's mood got worse and I suddenly realised it wasn't because I was late. His pain had gone to whole new levels. Once that drugs couldn't take the edge off. Somewhere someone said to me that I should start gathering any family that was nearby.
I wasn't really sure what that meant but went and called my mother and suggested she call my brother. My sister now lived interstate so we decided it wasn't time to call her yet. I can't remember why but for some reason, even though it was only a little of three years ago, I didn't have my phone with me.
I distinctly remember scraping around the bottom of my bag looking for coins and hoping that the pay phone on that level worked. Which it did.
It felt like forever till Mum and Brother arrived. The joys of being gainfully employed I guess.
Before long we were moved to a private room. By this stage all the staff were kinder than kind. Soft voices, gentle smiles and light touches whenever they walked past us. A little rub on the arm or a pat on the back. Just anything to say there there it will be alright.
One nurse came in to say she was going on her tea break, would she like me to take my little one to the staff room so she could watch some TV and give us some space. She had been so perfect all day. Almost as if she knew.
Doctors and nurses would quietly walk in and out of the room. Not wanting to intrude on our final moments but also wanting to know when the last breath was taken.
By now Mr Awesome had also been called and Brother's wife-to-be was also there. We tried to make light hearted conversation but it didn't happen. Dad was drifting in and out of consciousness and there were no words that seemed right. We wanted him to know we were there but we didn't want to disturb him in any way.
Even though it felt like the whole day, it was actually all crammed into a few short hours. In fact it was all over by school pick up time. I am amazed at my ability to have just walked out of the hospital the same way I did any other visit and go pick up Lovely from school.
For now though this is one epic post and if by chance you have made it to the end thank you for sticking around.