He's gone. Poof! Like that. Yesterday, he smiled and nodded and dozed; talked to his children and grandchildren on the phone; slept as we sat and reminisced about endless pounds of bluefish from his deep sea fishing trips and of gathering duck eggs in the Spring.
This morning, we gathered in that hospital room again. We cried. We laughed, though not as much. As each of the "locals" arrived, Mom cried a little more. We waited for a nurse or doctor to tell us what to do as his shell lay there, an empty reminder of what we have lost.
And then Mom held out her hands and we joined in a circle. Mom touched Dad's shoulder on one side. My sister touched his shoulder on the other side and we prayed together, as one.
Oh, Dad, see what you have done? Your children, together, loving you, loving each other? We each prayed that prayer, believing different things as we did, but united in our loss.
I want you back. I have things I want to ask you. I will ask my sisters and brothers. Together we will tell stories and you will be there. I hope. I pray. Hope sustains. It is our family motto.