The call from my aunt wasn't odd. I was still laying in the bed, taking my time to get up since Christmas Eve was being observed on Friday for work. She couldn't get him on the phone. Now, those that know my dad, understand that's not abnormal. But this feeling was a bit different. I felt it. It wasn't something that can be explained other than I knew something wasn't right.
Two days before Christmas my dad left to be with his wife. I screamed the entire way to Pine Bluff 'He's not going to hold on to be here with us", because he missed his wife so much. I don't think I ever saw my dad smile fully again after my mom's death. I could see the pain even when he tried to hide it. I was mad and didn't like the fact that he didn't fight like he had in the past, but I also realized I was being selfish. It also wasn't his call to leave to stay.
Since it was so close to Christmas, it will never be the same for me. But I made sure to make do with what we could for Bailey. Both of our (my dad and I) birthdays are in January and New Years Eve/Day were definitely different. I think I was more emotional on New Years because my parents were always the first people to text me. I don't care where I was I would always respond to them. My family would always be sleep if we stayed at home, but I could count on them to be up even if they didn't go to Watch Night Service.
Listen my dad was a true fighter. He had plenty of health issues, especially after retiring from the Army. He was a diabetic, had heart issues (we stopped counting stents and he had open heart), amongst other things that come with those