After drinks with friends, co-workers, and several guys from one of our contractors, we all headed over to Morton's for dinner. Somehow, I ended up at the head of the table of nine. I ordered a Whiskey Manhattan, and then my phone rang....
My Aunt had called from my mom and dad's house, and it rolled over to our home phone. My wife got the call, and called me a second time. She relayed the news that my dad wanted me to come say goodbye.
There wasn't much more to it than that, so I told the guys I was sorry I had to leave, and headed to my parents home just a few minutes away.
Laying in a hospital bed, downstairs near their big screen TV, my dad lay comfortably, resting. Although talking was difficult for him, he expressed that he felt himself going "up" and then "down" and that he wanted to say goodbye.
He told me that he loved having me for a son, that he felt very loved, and that he has no regrets.
To my brother, on the phone from California, he said the same thing.
We talked for a bit, but mostly I just held his hand.
Throughout the day, friends, neighbors, and former co-workers called and stopped by to pay their respects, say goodbye to my dad, and offer their support to my mom.
It's not easy saying goodbye... but I can't imagine any better way.