When I Found Out My Father Was Mortal

Its 3:05 in the morning, I found myself staring at the shell that was once my father. With the smell of death all-around me I pondered what cards are dealt to us in the game of life.I believe most people never think of their parents growing older and some day passing on. I know, I was that way about my father. We think of our parents as being strong an invencible that nothing will ever happen to them, but all too soon we find out how wrong we were. My father was the smartest, strongest, and bravest person I have ever known. Although he only had a 7th grade education, he could give you the answer to a math problem faster than anyone that I know.He told me funny stories about when he was in the Navy CB’s during World War II, but later in my life my mother informed me about the terrible things that he had endured. He was a strict father, but he taught me to be thankful for what I had, and how to treat other people with respect. Even though he was strict, he had never spanked me when I did something wrong. I think that stems back to when he was a kid and his father would tie him to a bed post and beat him with a razor strap, that too I found out in later years. I knew when I had pushed him to his limit by his bald head getting beet red, so that was my warning I had better straighten my act up. I treated him with the utmost respect; he was always proud that I never cussed. Little did he know that I did sometimes, but even after I got older I still had the respect not to do it in front of him.As I was remembering about some of those events, I found myself standing by a bed at a Hospice hospital staring at my father, a man I had so much admiration for. He was on his last journey and I couldn’t accept it I felt so helpless. As I looked on the man that was once superman immortal, but now was very mortal. I thought “why is this happening?” , “he didn’t deserve to go like this.”I had been by his beside for four days and nights, watching death slowly take over his body and soul. On the last day the nurse got me off to the side and reminded me that the last thing to go on a patient’s body was their hearing. Then she commenced to say, “your father is very strong willed”, something I already knew. She said that his time to end had come but he was fighting it, so I would have to tell him that it was alright to pass on. It was like somebody had hit me in the face with a hammer, how in the world could I do that? But as I sat there that evening, I knew all too good and well, the nurse was right about what I had to do. So taking a deep breath and trying to contain my emotions, I began to tell this dearest man I have ever known, how proud that I had been of him, and that he and my mother, who passed on years before, had done the best job any parent could do at raising a child. Then I told him how lucky I was to have had him as my father, but now his job here on earth was over and it was time to start his new journey. Even though he was unable to communicate, as I finished talking I noticed a tear running so slowly down his cheek. I spent the rest of the evening reading verses out of the Bible to him until I fell asleep.Around 3:00 in the morning the nurse woke me and said that it was time, he was getting ready to pass on, so as this man that gave me life and was everything in the world to me, took his last breath, I leaned down to his ear and told him how much I loved him, and I thought to myself how lucky we were to have known him and that morning a mortal man again became immortal, in my heart.Charles L. Fridel born July 1913 passed Oct. 1993Written by Larry Fridel

When I Found Out My Father Was Mortal

frogster

Moscow, United States

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Artist's Description

Yes Im an old man and Im retired but for the past three years I have been going to college studing Computer Graphics. I wrote this story for an English class I was in about my father who passed away by losing his fight with cancer. This story was written from the heart.

Image copyright © 2007, Larry Fridel. Copying and displaying or redistribution of this work without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

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