So I've been keeping this inside, but I need to let it out. My dad passed away last week and I'm having a real tough time just sorting through it all.
My dad lived in Colorado for the past few years, and he and I didn't exactly have a solid relationship. When I was young, he divorced my mom when I was 3 and I visited him every weekend until I was 6. He pretty much disappeared after that, and it wasn't until I was 23 that I was able to track him down in Texas and reach out to him. All those years, he figured that my sister and I hated him, and he was excited to reconnect. He came out a few times to AZ to spend some time with us, but he's always been a distant guy and doesn't let people get close to him. After the reconnect, he sort of went MIA again and only stayed in contact with my sister off and on. Needless to say, I felt like a 6 year old kid again.
Recently, a social worker contacted my sister and I and said that he had some health issues compounding, so we were making arrangements to go out to him in CO and help out, whether he wanted it or not. After a 3 week stint in the VA hospital, he was released and we were making plans to go visit. We were notified last Wednesday that his landscaper, who was a good friend of his, found him in his home. He had died alone in his sleep from internal bleeding and nobody knew for 2 days.
My sister and I flew out to CO last Sunday/Monday to get his keys from the medical examiner and go see what we could do to put his affairs in order. The house was left exactly as he lived during his last days, and it was pretty tough to see how alone he really was. While some say he put himself in that position, I still feel pretty horrible that we missed our chance to show up and help him in time. I love my dad unconditionally, and it's been a tough week needless to say.
My dad was a highly decorated seargent that served 3 tours in Vietnam as a crew chief on Hueys. He survived one of his choppers getting shot down and surrounded by Vietnamese, earned multiple medals for his service, and was highly regarded by his military peers. Luckily I was able to bring all of his medals and original award documents back to AZ with me as mementos. We will be bringing him back to AZ to have a military funeral service out at the Veteran's cemetery in Cave Creek. AZ was his home for many years after the service, and we're hoping he would be glad to be laid to rest near where his children live.
Ok, I'm done spewing my guts out. Just needed a little release today. Looking forward to next Tuesday to have some beers my TW friends on the west side.