It was on a Simcoe Day twenty years ago that my father died.
I sometimes joke about how his last words shall live forever in my heart. Here, with a little background, are those last words:
The cancer was destroying him from within, and he was in pain. The hospital had absolutely snowed him on morphine to make him comfortable. He was aware of us- when we held my daughter, who was a year old at the time, to kiss him goodbye, he turned his head towards her and kissed her in return- but he was too out of it, in too much pain to say anything. It took my sister to rouse him enough to utter his final words.
She was constantly hovering over him, patting his forehead and repeating over and over and over "It's okay, Dad. We love you. We're all here. We love you. You can move on. it's okay. Don't worry about us. We love you. You can continue on your journey. It's okay. We're all here. You can go."
Over and over. Pat pat pat. We love you. You can go. After I don't know how many repetitions Dad started moving his head to get away from the endless patting and rasped out what were his last words:
I had to stifle a laugh. My poor sister- those were the last words he would ever speak to her. But if he didn't tell her, I would have. That was getting on everyone's nerves. And really, if you knew the man, these were the perfect last words for him. Of course he would say that. Knock it off, he was saying. I'll go when I am bloody well ready. How perfectly typical of the man.