Well, it's officially 30 years today my father died.
I remember I was playing with my friend Shawn Brown. He lived up the hill from me. I would cut through the Truhan's yard and trudge up the hill to play with him. We would feed the turkeys his family kept or sometimes we would play with his older brother's acoustic guitar.
I don't remember what we were doing, I just remember his mom telling me my mom had called and I had to go home.
Somehow I knew something was seriously wrong.
I got home and my mom was sitting on the plaid couch sideways with her back against the arm of the sofa with her back to the open door. It had been warm enough to warrant just the screen door. I could hear her crying as I peeked around the door. At that moment, I knew for certain my father was dead.
All I remember was thinking I wanted her to stop crying, stop being sad. I hugged her and started crying even before the words came out of her mouth.
The last memory of my father is him being wheeled out of the house on a stretcher two weeks prior. My Grandma, his mother with her arm around me, told me everything would be alright. I would see him again.
My mom didn't have a car so his parents would get her and take her to the hospital to see him. However, they never let my mom take me. It would be 'too traumatic' for my young mind.
I never got to see him again. I never got to say 'I love you," or "Good Bye."
It was a slow suicide by alcohol. I had watched him take seizures on the kitchen floor, laying there with my mom trying to hold his head in her hands so if he jerked the wrong way, he wouldn't split his scalp on the edge of the bottom cupboards or the table and chair legs. I have so few memories of him, but the ones I do have are emblazoned into my brain. They're not all good, they're not all bad.
He was a human. I can't imagine how much pain he had to be in, mentally, to choose the bottle over his family.
It's thirty years ago today and I'm sitting here crying like I just lost him again.