Wednesday the fifth I was looking forward to a couple nights off away from any work and pretty much relaxing. Maybe I'd fiddle one computer or another and I'd probably bake a cake. Then the phone rang.
"I think your father is having a heart attack." is the memorable line. Backing a up bit... the night before, all seemed normal. My folks had gone out and they'd split a rib eye and had a pleasant time. The morning started normally as well, with Pa having a nice breakfast. He went into the living room and sat down to watch some TV and, as I have come understand, a bit later while my mother was on the phone with someone he sat up a bit and said "I don't feel so good." He went out and sat on the porch, then moved to the steps (there are but two) and started to lean over. The phone call was ended quickly and, "Should I call 911?" "Yes." She called, and got him onto the ground so if anything had to be done, he was already in position for whatever it might be.
Not too much later he stopped breathing. She did CPR. (Has or had the certification and did work some time at the local hospital.) He started breathing again. About then a police officer showed up and was about to start chest compressions but was stopped, "No, he's breathing." "Yes, he is." And where was the ambulance? A radio call revealed it was about a mile away. Ambulance arrived, not sure if anything was done on the ground, but he was picked up and put into the ambulance and something more was done... doors closed.
That is when I got the phone call. Nothing either of us could do and I was told not to start out for Merrill until she knew more one way or another. When that called ended, she called my sister and I assume a very similar conversation took place.
Meanwhile, in Fairmont... Jay called a fellow he know who knows more than a little of cardiology and said that while he could not be sure, from what was described to him (now third-hand, at least) it sounded like a coronary and tried to be reassuring. That call ended and Jay said, "Go pack." I didn't get it right off, evidently I need to hear the rest, "Go pack (your stuff for the trip to Merrill)." I did, or got most things in place. I decided I really needed a shower if we were going anywhere and so did. And just as I was turning off the water, the phone rang...
It was my cousin Betty who didn't realize (despite efforts on his part to explain) that Jay was not me. So, on speaker, she told Jay and I heard the bad news. Betty was careful not to let my mother do much - no phoning, certainly no driving - just then. More packing followed and various arrangements made to deal with my sudden absence from the area. I didn't say anything right then on LJ or Twitter as I really didn't feel like advertising my absence and I was rather preoccupied.
Somehow I managed to get some sleep on the trip to Merrill. Arriving, we found some funeral arrangements were made but more were needed and that happened the next day. The funeral was Saturday the 8th (the anniversary of his plane crash a few years ago - and a few other nasty things less related.) Jay & I returned to Fairmont on Sunday the 9th due my resuming work schedule.
In between there was much meeting with friends and family and sorting through stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. And we only scratched the surface, really. I foresee more than a few trips to deal with everything, and the problem of how to merge some things into the house here in Fairmont which seemed big when we moved in.
My sister stayed longer and is likely returning to Minneapolis today. So much needed (and needs) to be done. And I'm glad my mother wasn't alone on the 15th - wedding anniversary. I expect this coming week, which includes my mother's birthday, will not be easy either.