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Talk about scared
By Sonny Greenwald
Copyright 2000 Sonny Greenwald
A short story about when the writer's father almost died.
It was a typically cold December weekend. My mom had passed away in January of 1986. My dad aged 94 (plus or minus 5 years) finally was able to receive the love I had for him. It was about 11 months since my mom's death and it was as though he began the journey to death the day of her funeral.
Dad was sleeping at our home on long weekends in Briarcliff Manor fairly often now. Somehow he was capable of letting go of Margaret's being Catholic and not Jewish. He had developed a fondness for her and she couldn't do enough for him. They had so many laughs while playing poker with one another for hours. I would never have believed this scene if I was not in the kitchen looking on. Kibitzing with them, playing with them and having tea and something with them. It was really great, particularly since Mom and Dad refused to be in our home for the seventeen years since I moved to Briarcliff with Margaret, her two kids and my two kids.
Mom and Dad missed out on being with their grandchildren, and so so much of our family for so so many years.
Now it was different. My father had said the word to me, his son. That "' I was the shinning light of his life, that I meant everything to him and that he was so proud that I was him son...." He said those words when he was 92 years; when Mom was ailing; dying of her cancer. This was his 94th birthday (plus or minus 5 years).
The weekend was as intimate as it could be, and so much love was present that weekend. I drove him home to his Coop City apartment, with Margaret seated in the back of the car and my Dad seated beside me as always in the front. I opened the door for him as always. I helped him out of the car and walked with him toward his building, where I intended to take the elevator up to the seventh floor and deliver him to his apartment 7A.
That was until as we walked toward the apartment building he simply slid down collapsing onto the walkway. I cuddled his head so he did not hit his head or fall. He gently fell to the cement walkway. I quickly put my coat under his head. He lay there, unconscious, with his eyes opened. I was so so scared. I shut his eyes, and ran to the car and screamed in terror that my father just died.
Margaret ran with me to where he laid so still. I ran to the building to get an ambulance. The neighbors, being scared of a man so panicked begging them to open the door to call the police and an ambulance, refused to answer the door, or even answer my dreadfully panicked request. Finally Dad's friend on the seventh floor agreed with honor to make the necessary calls..
I ran quickly back to the elevator so as to get back to Margaret and my father's dead body. I pushed the lobby button and slowly the elevator carried Jake's son to his father.
The elevator door opened, and there standing in front of me was Margaret and my Dad. "Here is your coat. Put it on. What's the matter. Where did you go?" he said.
We all went up to apartment 7A. The police came; the ambulance came. He was taken to Jacoby Hospital. He survived that night. He did, but on Christmas day , 1986 he died in that hospital, just a few days after that unbelievably scary night..