October 8, 2013

The last time I posted was the evening after Princess M’s 3rd birthday party.

I went to bed that night exhausted but content and happy with my life. Happy that all these years later I was making my life in Ireland work and still including my family back home.

It was craazy and chaotic that day but my mom and dad in New York were participating via FaceTime so much that when recalling who was at her party Princess included Grandma and Grandpa on that list.

What I didn’t know. What I couldn’t possibly have known was that would be the last time I would see Dad.

The next day he was to be admitted to the hospital for like the 5th time this year.

Having just gotten semi-good albeit not the best news the week before I was naive enough to think that this time was no different from previous admissions….he’d stay for about a week and then go home. I was thankful we had just traveled to see them in August, but confident we’d see him again soon.

By Monday night I had fallen into the all to familiar routine of being in constant contact with home, keeping myself as busy as possible in the morning to speed the agonizing wait for an update allowing for the time difference- daily phone calls to Dad’s bed sometimes brief because he was sleeping or being poked, prodded-texts and emails home-phone calls to my siblings that started with “everything is ok” instead of “hi.”

It was stressful and for sure I worried but I thought this time would be like the others.

Tuesday we even managed to mark the actual 3rd birthday for Princess.

By Thursday evening the situation had worsened and hospice was being considered. Deciding to waste not a second more we booked flights last minute and woke the kids at 4am with a surprise trip to America.

We thought we had time.
The doctors said it wasn’t imminent.
I just knew time was limited so we didn’t want to wait another day-we just wanted to go and be together for as long as was left.

Somewhere over the Atlantic after endless tears of what was to come a feeling of peace and calm washed over me.
We landed in Charlotte and the nightmare moment every expat fears became my reality.

Standing in a crowded terminal, walking towards our connecting gate, pushing the Prince in the stroller my world crashed.
We hadn’t made it in time to say goodbye. Dad went peacefully in his sleep as we flew over the Atlantc. We were now travelling home to bury him.

There are few details after that point that I remember. I remember carefully choosing my words to explain this to my just turned three Princess. I remember the King and I not giving a shit at who was looking at us in the crowded airport terminal. I remember a numbness and a feeling that my body was on autopilot for one more flight. And I remember collapsing into the arms of my two best friends who met us at the airport when we finally made it home.

As with all loss they days that followed are blur. And while I still have yet to leave home for my other ‘home’ I know I will fall into the arms of friends upon my return. My grieving process will be long. I’m sure it is for everyone.

Long before this tiny little blog ever got up and running, Dad was it’s biggest supporter.
Over the past year we have had countless discussions over post ideas, names and even technical bits….which neither of us knew anything about.

Over the past 9 months as his health deteriorated and I feared the end coming just before I was to give birth we talked about blogging.

With so few people in my inner circle knowing about my blog, mom and dad were my first followers.
In my 30s having built a life for myself abroad my Dad was my biggest supporter one final time.

With his failing health he stuck around long enough to meet his first grandson and to see this little blog get started. As the grief begins to really set in that is what I hold on too.

I love you Dad…


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  • Reply Sinead October 10, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Beautifully written , emotional here x

  • Reply Jennifer F- American Mom in Bordeaux October 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Beautifully written! Very moving and such a lovely tribute. I know I just “found” your blog – but my condolences and prayers! My own father passed away 6 months before we moved abroad…and it’s still strange without him – he was with us – on facebook, in emails and on the phone. I have come to feel that he looks down on us everyday and smiles as he watches his granddaughters grow from afar. I hope you will eventually get to this place – there is some peace here – even though a piece of my heart misses him lots! Prayers and strength – again beautiful post!

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