Dave passed away this morning, they think it was a heart attack...
After our quick conversation I turned to Amanda, who had slept in my bed. With my early-morning blurred vision I looked at her and blurted, Amanda, Daddy died.
Tears, oh the tears. I quickly told her I had to go wake up Brandon and tell him. Off to his room I went, still blurry-eyed, and I rubbed his side to wake him. I didn't hesitate, I told him I had some bad news. I told him Daddy died and could he please come into my room so we could be together.
Shock, tears, disbelief. We just sat and held each other and cried. After the initial jarring shock wore off, the crying tapered off and Brandon uttered the words that he would utter several more times throughout the day -
Well...he had it coming.
Under normal circumstances those words would have felt cold and heartless. From the mouth of this child though, they were words spoken after several years of watching his dad be overcome by the death grip of alcoholism. They were words that spoke of the reality of a child who knew his dad had been on the brink of death just two months before. They were words of an incredibly smart nine-year-old child who chose to view the actions of his dad realistically.
He said what no one else had the balls to say.
Sooner or later he would lose the battle - it was inevitable. While alcohol wasn't the deciding factor in his death, we all knew he was on a fast track to nowhere. It came as a huge relief that he passed like he did - quickly and quietly in his sleep. No struggle, no pain. His girlfriend wasn't awakened when it happened, didn't hear him complain of pain, didn't notice any physical reactions to pain. He simply didn't wake up when the alarm went off. The kids lived in constant fear that he would die as a result of alcohol - now they can rest their scared little minds and hearts knowing he at least went so peacefully.
After collecting ourselves and making a few phone calls, we took the car to get its oil changed, quickly packed our bags, and headed off for the long drive to Denver. While the eight-hour drive was miserable as always, it was really a nice time to talk about things, to ask questions, to try to understand where our lives were headed.
Since Dave and I were never divorced, I was legally responsible for him. Sitting in the funeral director's office was surreal, and once I left I lost it. I sobbed the whole way back to Dave's sister's house; I just wept for the husband I once loved so much, wishing I still had that man I married fourteen years ago.
And one more thing before I close, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for your well-wishes, your prayers, your thoughts, and your donations. I couldn't have made it through this without the support of all my family and friends across the world.