I remember this day with two different types of emotions. One is with a heavy heart and the other is with gratitude.
While some people are celebrating and remembering their fathers on this day, I am getting through this day in a very different fashion. So far, so good.
To understand this story, let's go back to Monday morning, February 27, 2012.
As I was getting ready for my day at work, I got a phone call from my mother. She wanted me to come to the house as soon as possible. At first I was reluctant, but decided to head over there. On my way to the Oakley home, I get another phone call. It was from my little sister Crystal. As I answered the phone, I noticed she was crying. It was at that moment I said, "Oh shit. This is not good at all."
When I got to the house, the ambulance had just left the house. I asked my mother what was going on. She said that she found my dad unconscious in the bathroom. She was talking to him as he was getting ready for his dialysis appointment. The last word he told her was "okay." Then she noticed a long period of silence......" When she walked into the bathroom, she saw him on the bathroom floor. She screamed so loud that it alerted my sisters, nieces, and nephews. My older sister Rita tried to perform CPR on him, it did not work. Rita dialed 9-1-1 and the paramedics soon arrived.
As we left the Oakley home, we went to nearby Summerlin hospital in Las Vegas. We walked into the emergency room and the paramedics tried to get all of us into the consolation room. It was then, that we knew.
30 years with diabetes.
15 years of surgeries and hospital stays.
5 years of dialysis.
All of this culminated to that Monday morning in February.
He suffered a heart attack with some fluid in his lungs. He went real quick. No goodbyes. No farewells. No words to let us know.
It was the similar way that my grandfather left. When he left in that fashion back in 1979, my dad was 36. When my dad left, I was 36.
The last conversation I remember having with him was picking him up from his last dialysis appointment the Friday before. We talked about car care and wondered when his mother was going to get their car services. I also remember getting his favorite meal from Burger King - a Whopper value meal. I would never thought that those would be my last moments with him.
As I type this message to you now, I can say that I had a great dad. The times, the talks, the wisdom, the memories, I would not trade them with anyone. If it had not been for him, I would not become the man I am today.
If you have a dad, please spend some time with him. Let him know that you love him. If you lost a dad, think of the good memories you have of him. Let him know that he is remembered.
As for me, time may go on. Days may pass by. But I will never forget the time I have with the Ol' Man.
That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.