OT - Phone
call to my Dad...
My father, who used to be, first, a Grumman Avenger Navy
pilot during WWII,
and, 50 years later, a private pilot, is in the landing pattern, wheels down
and locked, landing lights on, and the runway lights have come on for his
It was thus that I used all the flight analogies in my presumed final phone
call to him over Skype, the medium which my sister was using to allow family
members to see him during calls. As it turned out, my sister was there, and
had the video on so we could see him. Unfortunately, I got her skype call
just as I was beginning the working day, so wasn't prepared, and had an
interrupted (help coming in) and somewhat disjointed call. I remedied that
by calling back later after properly preparing my call.
He'd long ago instructed us that in these foreseen end days (he's dying,
essentially, from the effects of dementia, where the brain gradually forgets
how to do anything, starting with the usual "can't remember" stuff which
happens to us all as we age, down to remembering how to eat, and,
eventually, to even breathe), to speak to him as though he was fully
"there". Evidently, he was right, as he moved his shoulder as I spoke, in
both cases, whereas he's otherwise "resting comfortably" - which is to say,
Here's what I said in my "prepared" call:
This is your son, Skip.
I see you're in the waiting room for your final flight. The angels are
assembling to carry you to heaven so you can be with Mom. Your brother Bob
and your sister Betty have set up the arrival lounge to accommodate all the
others who are eagerly awaiting your arrival.
I know it will be a great trip. What a great ride that will be, with angels
all around you, giving you the greatest view of the trip.
I expect that Mom will be playing her pedal organ with welcoming music
accompanying the choir assembled for you. I wish that I could be there to
lend my voice, but I'll be there with you soon enough, and we'll harmonize!
All my life, you and Mom made it very clear that heaven was "THE" place to
be, and there's not a doubt in this world that you've earned the right to be
there. I expect that the fitting room already has your wings ready, for
you're surely among the angels in my life.
Just one example has been the lifestyle we're in now. Not only did you fully
accept and love Lydia, my cousin who's now my wife, your annual Christmas
gifts, over time, entirely paid for our new home, the Morgan
Pig, along with all the improvements we've made to it over the years. Every
time we raise our sails
, we think of you, as it was your annual gifts which
allowed us to get new sails
On your trip, Dad, if you see this strange looking animal off to the side,
it will be Flying Pig riding along as your wingman. However, with all the
angels doing the transport, he'll be just along for the ride, saluting his
For that matter, I have no doubt that there will be a virtual armada of
others flying along in formation, as you've benefited thousands in your time
on earth. As you look around, you'll be surrounded by all those support
craft. You won't really need any support, but they'll be your honor guard on
the way to your new home.
Thanks again for all you've done for me in my 66 years. Flight Services is
reporting CAVU and brilliant sun, with no wind
. All that sun heating
ground makes for great thermals, which will make for a swift ascent. Have a
great trip! I'll talk to you again soon.
He's been in Hospice for a week or so, which is a very good thing. He's
been preparing for his "soft landing" - the analogy he's used in the past as
this time approached - for years, even before dementia set in, and
everything was already in place for him to go.
All along, I've wondered what my response to this moment (note that he's
still "alive" as I write) would be. In the last few years, as dementia
progressed, I'd expected that I'd be happy and unemotional (other than
grateful for his relief). However...
While the "weather" here could be described as "cloudy, with a chance of
showers," indications are that a front is moving in and it might get worse