This is how it should have been:
"Hey Dad! Sure, sure, come on in. Sit right here like you used to when I was little.
How was your day? You look so tired. Are you feeling alright? No, no, I'm fine. Ed and I just had another fight, we'll be ok. He wanted me to leave him alone tonight so I came back here to rest. Thank you for always allowing me back home when I'm such a wreck.
So, can I get you anything? I never really see you hanging around in your under shirt. You always wear one of your funky "Cosby" sweaters. You just seem out of sorts is all. I guess that day in the garden with Mom really tuckered you out.
What? Oh that. Just my bandage from more laser work on this damn tattoo I never should have got. What a joke. I really regret getting it and am ashamed you and Mom had to find out about it. I've really fallen off the path you guys tried to set me on while raising me.
Hey! Stop that. You're not fat and you're not a whale. You always make me roll into you when you sit on my bed to say goodnight. It's just been years since you've had the chance.
Ok Dad, I'll keep Ned kitty with me tonight. We know how much she really loves sleeping on your head even though you're allergic to her. I find it adorable. Thank you for always letting Jamie and I have kitties around the house growing up.
Ok, you go get some rest. You look exhausted. Sleep tight Dad and sweet dreams. I promise not to wake you up tomorrow at the crack of dawn by tickling your toes that you leave hanging off the end of the bed.
Kiss Mom for me when you get in bed. I know she's already fast asleep.
And Dad, thanks for the talk. I've really missed being here since I went away to college. I'm know you don't approve of me staying with Ed. I appreciate you letting me live this life regardless of the consequences.
Ok Dad, goodnight. You can leave the door open a little bit. See you in the morning. I love you too!"
This is how it went:
"Oh, hey Dad. Ok, come in but I'm really tired. Ed kicked me out again so here I am. Hope you don't mind me crashing for the night. I'll be gone again tomorrow.
What? Oh it's just my bandage from more laser surgery on my tattoo. No big deal.
Yes I'll keep the cat with me. It's not my fault she likes sleeping on your head better.
Ok, goodnight. See ya in the morning but let me sleep in, k? What?...Oh yea, good night Dad."
That was at 8:00pm the evening of August 27, 1996. I had allowed meth and alcohol to take over the girl I used to be. The girl my father still saw underneath all the mess I had become.
Next thing I remember is my Mom frantically waking me up in the dead of night. I'll never forget the panic I heard in her voice "WAKE UP! There's something wrong with your father!!"
I ran into their bedroom. Dad was rocking back and forth, trying to stand and in tremendous pain mumbling about where the pain was. I could really remember is his hair being disshovled. It never was messy like that.
I took the phone from Mom, gave the address to the 911 operator and demanded that someone get here NOW! I ran outside to wait for the ambulance. It only took a few minutes before I could hear the sirens in the distance, paramedics climbing their way to my parents home in the Southern California hills.
Dad died at the hospital at 3:15AM the next morning. I never did get to tell him I loved him.
I love you Dad.