In a dramatic and perfectly timed exit befitting the amateur thespian that he was, my father passed away last night... on my oldest sister's birthday.
She's beside herself with pique at this last bit of his upstaging her life, but will join us nonetheless as we bid farewell to the dear, if perplexing, old fart. Oh, how that would make his eyes twinkle to hear me insult him like that! His mock dismay at such cheek and lack of respect for his years... sigh...
Just last month my sister said, "I just know he's waiting to die on my birthday, the rat!" She's uncanny like that. He is too, apparently. They haven't spoken in years except for our recent visit in which he was too addlepated to actually connect with us. Family. Funny, strange, and transcendent. Go figure.
I awoke last night, worrying about so many things. Money, work, health. I strengthened my mind against the onslaught and rolled over with a deep sigh, seeking to return to sleep. Suddenly, my entire body shuddered with a wave of visceral awareness of something. It washed over me and I thought it rather strange because it wasn't a panic attack but a sudden sense of frailty and smallness, the way one can feel all alone on the sea or the side of a huge mountain. I wondered if my father had just passed away, or something quite jarring was happening somewhere in the world. Eventually I drifted back into the safety of the unconscious.
I got the phone call this morning and was simply gobsmacked, almost laughing with incredulity at the outrageous exit of my old man. I would have been deeply disappointed by anything less, I suppose.