Signs From My Dad
When my father turned 80, I knew deep in my heart that it would be his last birthday celebration. That day was June 26, 2013. I wish I could say I was wrong but I was more right than I have ever been. I received a strong feeling throughout the day. Remembering his words, confirmed this would be his last Birthday. He had a simple birthday celebration with only immediate family present. We created a lot of laughter and humor on this very special day.
Throughout the next year, I would receive “last” messages; that this would be his last Christmas and his last Easter. I kept thinking to myself, “No way!” I was able to record conversations with my Dad and ask him about our family history, conversations I should have had with him many years earlier. Somehow I knew it was the time to ask him.
A few weeks before my Father passed away, who were at my niece’s 21st Birthday party. My father was sitting, holding the handles of his walker, observing the festivities. I could see that he was just enjoying the moment, as if time was standing still. We asked my father to get up and dance down the line, which he did. He used his walker to move backwards then forward, smiling from ear to ear and all I could do was take it in for myself. He received a burst of energy in that moment. To me this was going to be his last dance.
A week before his unexpected passing, I was near my parents’ neighborhood, and I thought I would surprise them with a visit. My father was sitting in his favorite chair, wearing his favorite jacket, and it appeared as if he was waiting for me. I gave him a kiss on his forehead and stared into his eyes. The unthinkable happened, he gave me what I call the “death stare”. I have received this death stare from time to time throughout my entire existence.
The week of his passing, strange things were occurring at my parent’s home. My mom called me that Sunday and said, “Dad was sitting on his rocker and a man with a white shirt on a dark blue pants ran by and went into the laundry room. I went in there and there’s no one there. Is dad losing his mind? I took a deep breath and said, no, Mom, they are coming for him. She did not like my answer so I ended that conversation. I thought to myself, is that my father seeing a younger version of himself?
Three days later, my mom called and was a little freaked out. She said when she was in the laundry room, removing the clothes from the dryer, a man with a white shirt on a dark pants ran by her. She jumped back and screamed and said Adam, do you see that guy? He said no Pat! They both seen the same man but on different days and he came from the same location.
Thursday, May 1st, 2014, I had a very vivid dream. I was walking in my parent’s bedroom with my sister, Michelle. The room was pretty empty and I just knew to myself that my father passed away. I woke up that morning and told my husband about the dream. My husband tried to calm me down, he told me to reach out to them. I told him that they were traveling to an out-of-state casino. My father was no longer able to drive so while my mother was at the wheel, I called my father’s cell phone. It rang and rang and little did I know on his end that the message he received on his phone said, “Good bye”. Then I attempted to call their home phone and when the answering machine came on, I did not have the heart to leave a message that dad was going to die today. I was thinking if this does happen, that is the last thing I want my mom to hear and listen to over and over again so I just hung up. I called my mom’s cell number and my mom asked my father to answer it and it said, “Good bye” again and it turned off. My mother was saying to my dad, “Adam don’t you know how to answer the phones?” He was like “Yes Pat, the phone keeps reading, ‘”Good bye’”. Both of their phones were fully charged so they should have never received the same message. That message was so powerful but misunderstood at that moment in time.
I was near the train station, when I received an incoming call from Nana…at 7:14 a.m., I knew it before I even answered the call. My mom said, Dad collapsed and they are trying to revive him. I knew deep down inside, he was already gone. In that moment, all I could remember is telling my mom to stay calm that we are on our way. I started calling my siblings as I drove and drove until, we agreed on a mutual place to meet to ride together. As I waited in a nearby restaurant the call came in a little after 8 a.m. and Mom said, Dad has passed away. I sat there numb, speechless and just hearing those words come from my mom and there was nothing I could do and I could not comfort her. She was alone for the first time in over 55 years. She did not have her rock, her love by her side, she did not have any family by her side. All I kept thinking was we need to get to Mom as quickly as possible. My father passed of a massive heart attack. He went very fast and without pain.
This is something he always asked for, he wanted to die fast without pain and in her arms.
The trip to the hospital seemed like forever. We all seemed to arrive at the hospital at the same time, so we walked in together. We met Mom right inside the front doors. I could see her, so lost and confused, so I wrapped my arms around her and we cried. As we all walked down the long hallway with the Indian Priest, my sister-in-law and I could see that there was something different happening. The priest started acting like my father, he even started to caress my mom’s long ponytail, something my father would do often. He started to talk very fast and all over the board and we both looked at each other and said, that’s Dad! He kept repeating himself over and over and I was crying and laughing at the same time. I do feel that my father jumped into his body for a short time.
As I entered my dad’s room, I could sense that his presence was still there. I felt he was waiting for most of the family to be present. A moment of being with my father, all of the machines that were turned off went on and alarms in his room started going off, I knew it was him. I laid next to him, and cuddled him, whispered in his ear and kissed his still warm body. I wanted to get in as much time with him as possible. To others it would seem like he’s already gone but to me, he still was with all of us for that very short time. As I was whispering “secret” messages to him, I asked him to start giving us more and more signs that life does go on. We would all soon know that he had many new tricks up his sleeve.
The doctor came and explained how Dad went quickly and did not experience any pain. He died of a massive heart attack. My mom said Dad always said he wanted to die quickly without pain and in my arms and that is what he did. She finally was able to explain that last moments of Dad’s life.
“Dad and I were on our way to the casino in Michigan City and you were calling dad’s phone. He went to answer it and it read goodbye, then my phone started to ring so I handed it to dad to answer and it read the same thing. We were unable to take your call. I thought to myself that is strange since both phones are fully charged. I parked the car and headed into the casino and saved a slot machine right next to the one I was going to play. I put my free slot play into the machine and was waiting for Dad to meet me. It seemed like he was taking longer than usual and when he approached me I asked him for his player’s card. As he sat down on the chair, I noticed he was sweating profusely so I wiped his forehead off with a hanky and removed his jacket. As I put his players card into his slot machine, Dad laid his head down on the machine and I said, are you ok – Adam are you ok, he turned to me and said VERTIGO, then fell lifeless into my lap and we came down onto the casino floor. I yelled and screamed for help. The workers made a circle around Dad and put me on the side so I could not see what they were doing. They brought the defibrillator and tried their best to revive him. This could not be happening, this is not the end of the road for him. The paramedics placed Dad on the stretcher, put him in the ambulance and told me what hospital they were taking him to. I was alone, in an unfamiliar place, unfamiliar city and I did not have good direction to get to the hospital. I did not have a GPS and I don’t feel like I absorbed the quickly related directions. I drove off in a direction, not knowing if I was going the correct way. I pulled over to three or four gas stations and there was a man in the last location and the man asked, ‘What is wrong’? I explained my situation and he said don’t worry, I am headed that way, follow me. I would never trust a stranger but I was at my lowest point so I followed. He was an honorable man and kept his word; He drove right up to the hospital and waved in his rearview mirror so I knew I had the right location. The ambulance arrived in five minutes and for me it took longer. The staff asked me why it took me so long? I explained that I got lost, because I was in shock. They brought me over to where a priest and nun were standing. They asked my name and I asked how Adam was? The priest said it would be awhile, so I sat and waited. He started stroking the back of my hair, I got up and went to the ladies room because I felt uncomfortable. When I got back he took me to another room. I sat down and asked for prayer. I sat there for about 40 minutes until the doctor came out and said, ‘We have been working on Adam for over an hour and he had passed away’. I could not believe those words. After they told they took me to Adam’s room. I was able to kiss and hug him. I sat in the room alone talking to him. The nurse asked me if I wanted her to see if my family had arrived. It seemed like all of you arrived at the same time.
When we left the hospital and drove back to Mom’s house, we all decided to stop and get a bite to eat. As we all took our seats in a large booth, my husband had a “surprised” look on his face. He said later he had felt someone (I knew it was my father.) no one was sitting close to him yet he felt someone put their arm around his shoulder. After lunch, we stopped at the Funeral home to start setting up the arrangements. She asked us to bring a suit for Dad and a few other things. My husband, sister, and I drove back to Mom’s house. I went upstairs looking for signs from my father. As I walked into their room, I could feel that he was there, the closet doors were cracked open which normally would be completely shut. After making the arrangements we drove back to my parent’s home, I noticed that Dad sure was here. The downstairs bathroom fan was on, and the dining room light was on, when no one was even in that room. I ran upstairs, I could hear their bathroom fan on. I yelled for my sister and I asked her if she left that fan on in their bathroom, she said she hadn’t turned it on at all. I looked at the closet doors and they were now open half way, I yelled with excitement. I closed them before we left earlier and now they are open even more. We approached and entered the other three bedrooms and sure enough all of the closet doors were open half way. I asked my mom to come upstairs, she met us in one of the rooms and she said we don’t use these rooms. I told her what I was sensing and seeing first hand and we all started to cry. We asked my father to continue giving us signs, we needed him now more than ever.