My father passed away two years ago on May 9th 2010, a day before his 90th birthday in Rose Hill, Mandeville, Jamaica. His passing took place while lying down on his bed after a meal, alone in his bedroom-hopefully in his sleep.
The Death Certificate lists the cause of death in the following manner:
(a) Cardio Pulmonary Arrest-
I guess this means Heart Attack
(b) Myocardial Infarction
I guess this also means Heart Attack
(c) Coronary Artery Disease
This one I had to “Google”-narrowing of small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart
High Blood Pressure
Of course, there are other versions on the cause of death, closer to home and somewhat intimate and spoken long distanced, across the sea over the phone:
Dad consumed dinner then went to lie down and choked on his food.
Not sure about this one
It was poison!!!!
I’m not going there, as Jamaicans have a tendency for over the top drama as well as over the top vicious gossip-(Yes, I can stereotype, because Jamaican blood flows through me)
Whatever the cause or reason, it was Dad’s time to go whether he wanted to or not. I believe his soul now resides in a serene place, free of stress, and the physical pain that restricted his movements. No more worries over the roof coming apart during hurricane season or trying to make things right in others’ lives or drinking to dull the pain. Dad is finally home and in peace.
I miss Dad, my dad-Noel Emanuel Walsh.
This time, I cannot claim a parent for myself as I do with mom, my mom. My lil bro, (although a half, as identification purposes dictate and I refuse to submit to), shares our Dad. Dad belongs to him who also belongs to me. This brings me joy in sharing a parent with a sibling whom I love.
I miss talking to Dad on any given Sunday. Occasionally he was sober and we talked for hours. Occasionally he was not and we talked for hours.
In my Dad, I saw the parts of me that did not belong to mom:
-Dad was thrifty, using 60-watt light bulbs in the house while mom preferred 100.
-He turned off lights when leaving a room while mom created a trail of lighted rooms.
-He believed in stocking the fridge and purchasing items wisely while mom-well- she did stock the fridge but watched the items go to waste because she stocked thoughtlessly.
-Mom is adventurous while Dad preferred to stay at home.
-She is extroverted. He was introverted.
-She loves girly stuff, heels and dresses and he preferred practical clothing that went from tending the field to watching a cricket match on the TV.
There are parts of mom within me such as the gift of cooking which passed over the siblings and found its way to me. I guess they got the ‘girly’ crap. I take after my Dad, after all, “I am my father’s daughter”.
I miss Dad and want to wish him a Happy Birth date.
It cannot be said over a phone call, because if I called the house number in Jamaica which still resides on my phone’s contact list, someone who inherited the phone number would probably answer it and that would not be a good thing.
So instead, I say it aloud and hope he will hear it.