The time had come. My father had been going up and down for six months but mostly down. I got a call from my mother on May 31 saying my father was getting worse and she didn't know how long he would last. Considering I had a limited amount of time away from work, I didn't want to come home, linger for weeks, and then go back, only to miss his passing. So I asked my mother more questions--previously, when she said he was really bad, I'd spoken to him on the phone and he seemed better than he did before he was sick! So I kept asking questions, decided not to come, but then Miimii talked me into calling Mom back again. On the second call that night, Mom said the nurse told her it would likely be less than two weeks. Miimii and I had the car packed up to go to a bicycle race in Orange, Virginia, the next morning, but we cancelled and the next morning I drove to Indiana to watch my father die. I had 13 hours alone in the car to contemplate this sad, life-changing event. It was strange to think that the next time I drove Interstate 64, I would be without a father.
When I arrived Dad was in a hospital bed in the living room. He was obviously out of his mind and had a glassy look in his eyes. He grabbed my hand and yelled to my mother,"Mike is here! Mike is here!" and wouldn't let go. I kept thinking to myself,"I'm not ready for this...this is going to be too hard".
He asked me,"Why did you color your hair?" I kinda smirked and said,"I felt like it", but in my head, knowing how insecure he'd been recently I thought perhaps he felt I didn't want to look like him. I knew this time that Mom had been right--I phoned Miimii and told her he was ready to go.