My Dad, Buck was nearly 85 years old back in March of 2005. He loved the barbeque business, he loved fishing, he loved his family, he loved playing Forty-two, he loved my mom and he loved cars. Old cars, new cars, vans, trucks, didn't matter. He loved buying them, keeping them awhile and then selling them.
On a windy Monday that March, March 21st actually, Daddy had just bought a van and was outside cleaning and polishing every little part of that van. If you are from Texas or know anything about our weather, you know it can get a little crazy. That March was brutally windy. Mom had just come back inside the house after taking Daddy a glass of water. Moments later there was a knock on the door. A lady pointed to the driveway and said there was something wrong and she had already called an ambulance. There was Daddy, lying in the driveway unconscious.
After arriving at the hospital, it was apparent that Dad had somehow hit the front and back of his head. We surmised that as he was either getting into or out of the van, one of the doors had hit him above his right eye knocking him backwards causing him to fall and hit the back of his head on the driveway.
When I arrived my mom, my sister and my niece were in the ER with Daddy and Mom asked be to talk to him. He never knew who I was, the brain injury, bleeding and swelling had already taken its toll.
When my brother and my husband got there, the staff asked that there be only two people stay there with him. It was a Monday night but a very busy one at the hospital. Every room was full and Dad was actually in the area in front of the nurses station. My brother Steve and Ray remained with him until they got him up to a room. At one point Dad became very agitated and wanted to get up. He kept saying, "...just let me... just let me... " Steve asked, "Just let you what Daddy?" At which Dad said... "Just let me go get some minna's (minnows)" and that's the last thing he said. He was going fishing.
After a brief few days it was clear that Dad was not going to get better or make it through this. Both he and Mom had set up and signed Living Wills so we knew what he wanted. There was no question. On about Wednesday night it was determined that we move him out of ICU into a private room. There was no need for ICU, he would go in his own time. After moving him to the private room, I gathered up my purse and headed home. As I got in the car, I turned on the radio and this song came on, from the beginning. If you have a moment, listen to the words.
Every time I went to the hospital or came home from Wednesday until Sunday March 27, 2005 that song came on. Dad went home at about 8pm on that Sunday. It was Easter. I'm sure he was made welcome with a bucket of minna's and he and his brothers and friends are fishing now.
Hope is an anchor, and love is a ship
Time is the ocean and life is a trip
You don't know where you're going Til you know where you're at
And if you can't read the stars Well you better have a map
A compass and a conscience so you don't get lost at sea
Around some lonely island, no one wants to be
From the beginning of creation, I think our maker had plan
For us to leave these shores and sail beyond the sand
And let the good light guide to the waves and the wind
To the beaches and a world where have never been
And we'll climb upon a mountain, y'all we'll let our voices ring
Those who've never tried they'll be the first to sing
Woah My My
I'll see you on the other side
If I make it
And it might be a long hard ride
But I'm gonna take it
Sometimes it seems I don't have a prayer
Let the weather take me anywhere
But I know I wanna go
Where the streets are gold
Cause you'll be there
Oh my my
You don't bring nothing with you here
And you can't take nothing back
I ain't never seen a hearse,
a luggage rack
So I've torn my knees from praying
Scarred my back from falling down
Spent so much time flying high,
til I'm face first in the ground
So if you're up there watching me,
can you talk to God and say,
Tell him I might need a hand to see you both someday
Cause you'll be there
Oh my my