Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today I thought I would be writing about my wedding weekend, about priest foibles and savored honeymoons hundreds of miles from here, from which I returned last night.  Instead, today is the day that my Dad died.

It's a strange thing to type, and a harder one to say.  My Dad died. And yet, he did.  Suddenly and unexpectedly.  

I'm thankful that I was in Birmingham, that I'd arranged to work from the office on Tuesdays, and that I didn't slack off on this particular Tuesday, as I almost did because it was the first day back from the honeymoon.  Because of that trip to Birmingham, I got to see and have lunch with my Mom.  Because of that, I was less than five minutes from her when she called me with the news that Daddy was very sick. On the way to the hospital.  Coding.  Unresponsive.

Blessedly, Mom had stopped at Grandma's house on the way out of town, so she wasn't alone or driving in rush hour traffic when she heard the news that Daddy was in the ambulance.  By the time we got word that he was gone, we were a mere 50 miles from Florence.

I almost blogged nearly a dozen times today, but didn't because I needed to focus and get work done.  "I'm married!" I wanted to exclaim.  "I'm back, and mostly tan... at least in patches," I wanted to share.  But I didn't.  And now I simply can't.

Someday, maybe soon or maybe much later, I'll blog about the amazing wedding (complete with a marshmallow-filled bouquet), and about how I'm thankful to have had those few days near Daddy, with all the kids back home with their babies for one more celebration before what we never knew we would face.  I'll blog about the glorious honeymoon, about careening around rail-less cliffs on the "wrong" side of the road with B at the wheel.  Someday.

For now, it's all I can do to think.  To move.  To breathe.  This isn't happening.  This didn't happen.  My Dad loves. Lives. Pulls.  Fights.  The past tense is not welcome here.  

My Dad died today.  And I'll always remember.


~Z~ said...

I love you, AJ. You and your family are in my thoughts.

More different A said...

AJ, all of my thoughts and love go out to you and your family.

Little Red said...

All my love, sweetheart.

Gina said...

I love you and your family so much. This is weighing so heavy on my heart, and I have been in constant prayer for all you since I heard late last night. Just know that I am praying so hard for God to bless each of you richly with peace, comfort, and many, many good memories. See you soon.
Love, Gina (and Jason)

Coach & Linda said...

Our hearts ache for you. Daddy. That word speaks volumes doesn't it? It brings about a warm and happy feeling. It stands for unconditional love, security, faith in you, hope, and in a nutshell someone who is always there. It's not easy giving up your daddy, but you will see him in different ways now, he may not be with you physically but he will always be with you where it matters the most...your heart. Odd things will conjure up such wonderful memories, like a song on the radio, a book being read, a favorite verse from the Bible, the list goes on and on. Your dad was an exceptional man, and he will be greatly missed. Please know our prayers are with your dear family at this time. Love and memories live forever...may they bring you peace.
Much love.
Coach & Linda

Jennifer said...

I wish you never had to feel this. Please let me know if I can do anything, but meanwhile I'll be praying for you.

daniput said...

Ashley, I love the picture of you and your dad on your blog page. Even though you can't feel him kissing you now, he is and always will be by your side, loving, caring, and cheering you on in this life until you meet again in Heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Diane and Scotty