Just write. I don't even know where to begin. I think it might be with you reading a post from June of 2012, if you don't mind. It will give you some background for this post.
This is Eddie and he died on September 25, 2013. This post is about saying good bye to the man that became my second dad.In June of 2012, Eddie suffered two strokes and a heart attack in 36 hours, just 11 days shy of his 90th birthday. We had just sent out the invitations for a big party to celebrate. The party had to be cancelled. Eddie wasn't up to a party. He had a long road of rehab ahead of him. But, rehab he did and in August he came home. He walked with a walker, but he was good.
Over the next year, Eddie went about his days as best he could. He couldn't get down basement to his beloved work shop or outside to work in his yard. Just the week before his strokes, he had laid a brick sidewalk in the backyard. Now, he spent the better part of his days reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and watching television.
This past summer, kind of like an old clock, Eddie began to wind down. He was beginning to get weaker and he wasn't happy about it. Just getting to the kitchen for a meal became an effort. He told me so many times that nobody should have to live like that. He asked on more than one occasion, why he couldn't just go to sleep and not wake up? It broke my heart to hear him say that, but I understood too. He was worried about the toll his health was taking on my mom who was 87. She was his primary caregiver 24/7. We kids helped as much as we could, but mom was always there for him. She loved Eddie with all her heart and she wouldn't have been anywhere else.
On September 25 at 1:30 p.m., Eddie got his wish. Surrounded by his family with so much love, Eddie went to sleep and didn't wake up. He very peacefully went to heaven. I was right there by his side, just like I was with my dad. It was the second hardest thing I ever had to do, but I wouldn't have been anywhere else. I was proud to be by Eddie's side, telling him it was okay to go. We told him we would take care of mom and she would be fine. We told him that in heaven, all the jigsaw puzzles had all their pieces and if he was really lucky, they even had a great White Sox team.
Yesterday was Eddie's funeral and just like the priest said, we are left with the task of trying to put the puzzle pieces back together. I'm afraid I'm not going find that missing puzzle piece in my heart. Eddie has left a big hole there. I was 22 when my dad died. Mom and Eddie would have been married 32 years next month. Eddie was in my life ten years longer than my own dad. Eddie never tried to take my dad's place. He knew that those were very special shoes that nobody could fill, that place in my heart was reserved only for my dad.
Eddie made his very own special place in my heart and the hearts of our whole family. When Eddie joined our family, there were twelve of us. Now, we are waiting for #36 to make her arrival. He was with us for every birth and wedding. Every baptism and graduation. Every birthday and Christmas. Everything that happened, Eddie was there to cheer for us or cry with us. He was there for everything with kind words and a smile.
Thank you Eddie for finding your way into our lives. Thank you for taking such wonderful care of mom and loving her so much. I promise we will take good care of her. Thank you for being my kids grandpa and my grandkids great grandpa. They are going to miss you so much.
Good bye, Eddie. I miss you and love you so much. Thank you for being my other dad. When you see dad up there, would you tell him I miss him and love him so very much. I know he's going to find you and thank you for being so wonderful to us all.