FAMILY FROM OUR WEDDING

Friday, November 9, 2007

NOVEMBER 9TH 2001 - NOVEMBER 9TH 2007

On September 11, 2001 our country changed.. rocked by a catasrophic attack on our very core.. our humanity in the heart of New York. Way down south in Alabama just as in all of the country and in parts of the world I am sure.. the pain was brilliant. I saw what that attack meant to my father.. on that sunshiney tuesday.. he was on his way to Atlanta .. driving as usual for his business.. I called him.. on the road.. and asked him to come home.. He did.. no questions.. no don't be silly .. nothing.. He came home.. I saw my dad become a patriot. He passed out flags stick pins to everyone.. he purchased tons from one of the distributors in the Apparel mart (Dad had a showroom in the Merchandise mart in Atlanta (furniture) ) .. Everyone he saw he gave a flag pin too.. he gave 2 to our new rabbi. From September to November of 2001 I watched my dad.... I became more attuned to the news and the world around me.. I listened to talk radio..I watched all the news channels... We started going to temple more on friday nights..
My dad and Steve got along famously... they had a lot in common and a quick respect followed by friendship and love grew. I knew my dad was crazy about Steve and that set very well in my heart and made me very content.. That Friday November 9th 2001.. I lost November I had just celebrated my 39th birthday on the first of Novmember.. I was getting healthy.. I was on WW... I had lost about 30 pounds by then.. had on a brand new outfit I was so proud of.. ...

It was a sparkling cool Friday much like today.. and much like that infamous Tuesday.. that my life would come to a screeching , exploding change.. nothing would ever be the same.. I was working at my old office.. I had just put on Richard Dixon on the radio.. the phone rang.. I anwered DMK Entertainment it was a voice I did not know.. an EMT named Lisa.. she told me my folks had been in a auto accident and I needed to come to the hospital in Anniston Alabama.. I said could I speak to my dad and she said he was not able to talk.. neither was my mom.. I called Steve, told the folks at the office.. I followed Steve to his apartment.. he was on his motorcycle... he did the driving to Anniston a 40 minute drive seemed to move as if in slow motion.. dragging.. I called the hospital.. they said they did not know where my father was.. ( I knew) .. (I simply knew) .. Steve said he hoped he never saw that look on my face again.. I called the hospital again and they said I needed to get there.. they would give me no info on my mother... as we drew closer to the hospital.. I thought both my parents were dead..
We get to the hospital.. and walk up the hill we ask for the Dr.. Dr. MCVee..he takes us into this room.. all I remember is screaming No and landing in Steve's arms.. and crying.. I was too scared to go face my mother .. she was alive.. How was I going to tell her what she already knew.. How was I going to say the words.. I called my cousins.. my dads first cousins who he was very close too.. they were in shock and on their way to Anniston.. I called my brother in laws.. and had them tell my sisters.. however my oldest sister did not hear via her husband by then My dads brother knew .. and he had called her.. my sister was alone when she heard..) my middles sister who worshipped my dad.. had a very difficult time.. I thought if i could wait until my uncles got there ( cousins) I would be able to tell mom then.. I made the required phone calls.. I remember the State trooper putting his arm around my shoulders and handing me dads things and saying how sorry he was.. ( my dads life was reduced to a Yellow Envelope.. ) I talked to the emt.. she gave me her phone number in case I wanted to know things.. she hugged me.. she was so sweet. . an angel in a sad time... Then Steve and I knew what we had to do.. we had to talk to mom.. We walked in and saw her.. she had blood on the side of her face.. and dirt.. the van had flipped 3 and half times.. apparently what happened was.. Mom and Dad were talking.. about how pretty it was outside.. mom dozed off.. I think Dad might have too.. They were on their way back from Atlanta as usual for a friday.. they were to meet us at Temple.. this would not happen....When mom woke the van was drifting toward the median.. Mom called Dads name.. he over corrected and that when it happened.. I looked at my mom.. she did not look the same anymore... her right hand had gone through the wind sheild. Dads seat belt broke.. he died by blunt force trauma to the head.. Not a mark on him.. except a red line on his head.. We told Mom.. she made a sound like nothing I had ever heard before.. but she had known.. she saw the lifelessness in his arm when the van was on its side.. she could not see him.. My dad had bled out.. blood from the ears.. Lisa the EMT later told me.. that dad was probably gone with in 8 seconds... but that blood.. it was all over my mom.. Mom did not want the nurses to clean her up.. she did not want to wash Dads blood off her.. we told her the blood came from her not him. because of her hand.. and that she had to be cleaned up.. they had to clean her abrasions.. and get the glass out of her hair.. she let them.. she went to surgery.. by then my friends were there.. family was there... I rode in the ambulance with mom to take her to the hospital in Birmingham were she would have more surgery.. mom had to have pins and plates in her right hand and a skin graft from her thigh to her hand.. to this day that right hand.. hurts her.. it is her constant reminder of her world spinning out of control.. of everything changing...

I remember so many different things.. .. flashes of things. I remember sitting at the table at the funeral home.. ( in the jewish faith the casket is a certain one a plain pine casket with a jewish star on it) no one wanted to sign Dad death certificate.. everyone had an excuse.. but me.. I signed it.. I dont know why thats so profound to me.. but it was horrible....
I bossed folks around and told them what to do when... I was on auto pilot.. and yes .. when I got home I threw out that outfit.. Steve stayed with my for a solid 5 days.. and nights.. between the hospital and planning for the funeral.. normally in our faith you are buried fairly quickly.. Dad was buried November 13th so my mom could get out of the hospital to be there... Over 600 people attended my Dads funeral.. In the jewish faith you also have a society of people called the Chevra Kaddish.. they are the people who prepare those that die for burial.. they wash them and dress them in a white shroud.. men are sometimes buried with their yarmulkes and prayer shawls.. I was asked if I wanted to see dad before they did everything.. I said no .. I could not have that be my last memory of him... Steve joined that society for that day.. so did my former boss.. they took care of my dad.. it is one of the most honorable things you can do when someone dies is help bury the dead.. either by that society or at the funeral helping shovel in the dirt...
Steve and my former boss both said how good Dad looked.. I found comfort there.. I also took comfort in knowing that had dad not died that way.. and as sad and tragic as that is.. he would have died from cancer.. which to me is worse... Dad was a prostate cancer survivor.. he never could have the surgery.. he had radiation treatments.. a few weeks before the accident.. he had had his PSA test and his numbers were back up.. the cancer was slowly coming back.. Dad would have died a cruel and horrible and painful death .. had this not happened.. I find comfort in that.. He left us fast.. but he did not suffer.. I find something good there...
Last weekend was his yartziet ( anniversary of his death via the jewish calender) .. I went to services.. and it hit me as I watched the rabbi.. the same rabbi who had buried my dad... I was not sad anymore.. Though I miss my father so much... I suddenly was not sad.. I said something to my aunt.. who years earlier had lost one of her children.. she looked at me and smiled and said its good when you can let the sadness go.. thats good.. sure you miss who you lose.. but when that saddness is lifted.. its a good feeling... My mom.. does not have that.. to her life is dark..with glimmers of light.. She married dad at 18.. dad was 26.. they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2002.. .. Life does indeed go on.... 6 months later we survived Steve' battle with prostate cancer.. he had the surgery and is doing fine .. has some residule pain from time to time but he is fine.. we survived the deaths of many loved ones and friends.. in our 7 years together we have survived the worst and enjoyed the best... he is my heart and that is indeed my blessing... I am also blessed richly by the fact that he and my dad had such a good relationship.. and Steve will often bring Dad up in conversation.. it makes me feel good...


So on November 9th 2007 9 days before my wedding... I miss you Daddy.. You are right in my soul.... I know how proud you will be next week.. I know all I have to do is touch the top of my head and I can feel you there.. ( I got my dads curls.. he used to slick them back.. but always had this wavy hair.. and to this day whenever I try and slick my hair back in a ponytail I always have that same waves) I found November....
Wish me well..
wish you well too
Have a very sweet weekend..

10 comments:

Scale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scale Junkie said...

We are so much alike. The strong ones who run on auto pilot when there is a crisis.

You know I was thinking that it does feel like things have come full circle. We've talked at great length about the similarities of your Dad's death 7 years ago and my Moms death 7 years ago so I won't go into a lot of detail here but you know I love you and I've been thinking of you all day today and sending good thoughts your way.

Everything is falling on the same day of the week again, everything has come full circle just like the circle of life.


Chai my friend.

{{{HUGE HUGS}}}

Bethany said...

Hugs to you my friend.

Anonymous said...

You and your family will be in my thoughts and heart today. <3

Lora said...

Oh my gosh...your post made me cry!I lost both of my parents 10 years ago within a few weeks of one another. I can understand your profound sense of loss. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful man that you will marry very soon. I'm sure there will be mixed emotions that day...I'll keep you in my prayers.

Chubby Chick said...

Awww... I'm so sorry... I lost my dad in 2001. (((((Honi)))))

Ann(ie) said...

This was so powerful and so beautifully written, darlin. I have not lost a parent yet. I cannot begin to imagine the pain when that day comes. But, I do agree after watching my grandma battle cancer and lose, it's almost harder to see them struggle for so long in pain.
Hugs to you my e-friend. Your dad is looking down so very proud of his product. I just have no doubt.
xo.

Grumpy Chair said...

A very loving post, beautifully written. I have tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.

Your father sounded like a wonderful man. What an honor to be one of the recipients of his flag stick pens.

I have been thinking about you all weekend, knowing next weekend you and Steve get married.

Laura said...

What a wonderful post. Definately brought tears to my eyes. Your dad will be with you in spirit next week....

Dee said...

What a great post Honi! Thanks for sharing. You've done great and you are so so strong! Be proud. He's proud of you, I'm sure.
My mom died in March 2003, aged 58. I'll never get over it.
hugz