Wednesday, September 17, 2008
September 29, 1998, Last Entry
The days grow shorter and colder. The date 9/29/2008 approaches and will mark the 10th anniversary of my fathers death. Wilbur Gillian Cole. A house painter and a good father. He worked all of his life harder than most. Providing things for his family that many of the wealthier families could never acquire. A skating rink in our front yard where we could skate into the night while polka music played on the outside speakers. Wonderful memories that make me feel lost as I look at the modern world of video games and skate boards. We were lucky in so many ways.
My father worked until 1986 and had just begun to enjoy his retirement. A few issues came to be, like the cancer that paid him a visit in his colon. He thought he had won that round. Cancer is a stubborn foe, it would return later in his life.
My wonderful mother Celina, started to fade from our lives as well. Alzheimer disease started her down the long road to childhood and finally darkness. My dad struggled to care for this wonderful woman the best he could but when he no longer had the strength, due to the cancer which had returned, my mother was placed into a home in Spokane, Washington. My sisters and I made regular visits to her and she received the finest care possible.
At some point in time, during my dads struggle with cancer, one of my sisters left a message to dad on the chalk board in the basement. Uplifting messages to help him fight and remember that we cared. The messages were written with every visit.
The last entry read, “Dad passed away 9/29/98 3:15 p.m.” We all can look at an event that occurs right before or after the death of a loved one and relate to it as a sign that all is well. The passing of my father was no different in a number of ways. I will never forget the nurse who came into the room seconds after dad took his last breath and in a loud strong voice while throwing open the curtains said, “Oh Wilbur, you did such a wonderful job!” It really lifted the gloom that had filled the room and we started to heal. One of the signs witnessed by someone other than a family member occurred at the care center where my mother Celina, unable to speak for sometime prior to my father’s death, very clearly yelled my father’s name, “Wilbur” at or very close to the time of my fathers death before retreating back into herself until her death in 2003.
The chalk board and messages still exists but I covered the original with another board in an attempt to protect some family history.