sunrise, sunset.

If you know me, you know I sleep like the dead. Apparently, I must be sleeping like my father, who died yesterday morning, and must be in as much shock as me.

Yesterday, my phone rang at 7:42 am. It was sort of quiet—like loud enough to wake me, but soft enough that I didn’t think much of it. That was until Sweeties phone rang right afterward. Same unrecognizable number. Well fuck. They left a voicemail… all I heard was “hello Rachel, this is Nancy from Fairview Southdale Hospital. Your father …” click, return call. Hurry, return the effing call. “Yes, may I speak to Nancy, my name is Rachel Swan, Phil Swan’s daughter.”

Hold. Really crappy hold music. Still holding.

“Rachel, ahhh, hi, this is Nancy a nurse a Fairview Southdale. There really is no good way of telling you this. I am sorry…”

(Total freak out.)

Sunrise. Drive. Hospital. Cardiac arrest. Heart attack. Wailing. Bad hospital coffee. Lay at the feet of my fathers beloved. Holding and held. Flood of kindness. Family. Phones and bings and beeps and bongs on the clock striking each hour that passes. Fuck. Church, yes, church. Drive. Tears and laughter, tears and laughter. Exhaustion. Sunset.

Its sunrise at the house I grew up in. The light is coming over the lily-pads on the lake. The thunder and lightening has stopped, and a bird is singing outside of my dad and step-mom’s window.

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11 thoughts on “sunrise, sunset.

  1. I have sat here with coffee in my hand trying to come up with something that isn’t completely and utterly lame or that doesn’t piss me off. So I’m going to just keep sipping my coffee with thoughts of you dear one. Love you dear Rachel.

  2. Beautiful words Rachel. There are no words to express my empathy and sorrow over this news. Consider me a servent at your families disposal. God rest your soul Phil. You are an inspiration and gift that I will forever be grateful to have known and will miss ore than words can say. My love you all.

  3. I read this and cried, I also remember the day in my life I got the same call. Your not sure if it’s some sort of surreal dream and you just know your going to wake up and all will be in order. I’m here for you even though I’m far away, I’m praying for you and your family. Recently the anniversary of my Fathers death just passed and I realized a day has not gone by that he hasn’t crossed my mind in one way or another. I still sometimes think I seem him. I don’t think the hurt goes away or lessens, I think we just become complacent to the fact that it’s just the way it is. I wont promise you all will be okay, I was made that promise, and it was never kept. All it did was anger me, waiting for the moment when everything became OKAY…never happened. I do know this, one day we will be together again in a place we are whole. This is a promise from God, so I know he’ll keep it. I can wait for that day, mainly because I know It’s for eternity and I never have to get one of those f’ing phone calls again.

  4. Oh my God, just came over to read your latest. Wasn’t expecting that. Well of course not, what a stupid thing to say. Oh Rachel, loads of prayers and virtual hugs and some tears of sympathy on their way to you. Let Sweetie and your friends support you. They will. We will.

    The sun will keep rising and the birds will keep singing. There will be times you won’t be able to see and hear them and times when they will be incandescent with beauty. But you don’t need me to tell you that. I’m rambling, sorry.

  5. rachel, i remember the day that i got the call too. my dad had passed as i was driving to the hospital. i wish i could tell you that the pain stops. it doesn’t. it hurts, so badly, for a daughter to lose a father. but always know that he will be with you. it’s been 4 years since my dad died. and my pain has gone from ache to a simple smile that comes across my face when i see signs from him.

    i wish you strength to get through this time. my thoughts and prayers are with you and karen, and your family.

    kellie

  6. My condolences and deepest heartfelt regrets go out to you and all of your family, Rachel. The piece you wrote above is beautiful. I wish you all a calm peace and time to spend with your loved ones.

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