The Gaucho Gazette

I Lost My Father For The Second Time

Sue Jacob, Reporter

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They’re getting ready to cut me open. I stay lying down on the cold metal table. The big lights with countless light bulbs towers over me. Surgical trays are scattered around me, and I can see the doctor through the slim window at the end of the operating room scrubbing in. They ask me to breathe in and count down from ten. Everyone is hustling around me, yet everything seems like it’s in slow motion. Amidst all the chaos in the operating room, tears began to roll down from the side of my face to my cheek. My eyes started to feel heavy, and I was fighting the urge to fall asleep. The anesthesia made my chest tighten and grow heavy — as though heaps of dirt were piling atop my chest. I feel a warm and gentle hand come into contact with mine. My eyes move from my extended arm on the surgical table to the nurse’s face telling me there’s nothing to be afraid of and that I’d be okay. I knew that already. I wasn’t worried about complications or surgery itself, but laying on that cold piece of metal made me feel so small and vulnerable. Above all, it took me back to one of the greatest losses of my life — my father.

My mind traced back to the events leading up to his passing and before I knew it I was in a bright yellow room seated on a standard wooden bench in what looked like the sky. The operating room and staff disappeared, and it was as if I were floating. It felt as though I was in a special waiting room, just waiting to see if I was going to live or die. I realized that I am not alone. I am facing forward yet I can see myself seated next to my father. Everything is in aerial view — as if I were watching myself on the other side of a security camera. My father and I never once made eye contact and sat in silence, yet in that moment, his very presence made me feel secure and made me reminisce back to the glory days when my father was still alive and could laugh his big hearty laugh. It was as if I never lost him in the first place — like the pain I felt after his passing had never existed. I was serene, I was happy, and most of all, I was content.

But I blink and the next thing I know, I am awake again — as if time had hardly passed by. Hot tears begin to roll down my face. I can’t breathe. I’m wearing an oxygen mask. My mind travels to a million places at once. Where did he go? Why is he not here anymore? Where is he? More tears roll down my cheek and a concerned nurse next to me tells me that I just got out of a successful surgery; however, her words seemed so irrelevant at that moment. I asked her where my dad was. And all I remember is repeatedly asking her where he had gone and why he had left me. I was confused, but suddenly my mind went blank as this familiar feeling began to sink in. My heart dropped. I had felt this countless times. And it all came to me as soon as she rushed out of the room to go find my father in the surgical waiting room — the one I was so eagerly searching for when I awoke. She led my family into the PACU. The memories attacked me all at once. I had lost him a few months back. He wasn’t here with me. He wasn’t here at all. My foggy memory traced back to the nurse asking my mother and sister where my father was. I could hear in their voices, how confused they were. “Whose father?” they ask. “Her’s,” the nurse says as she points to me. Their voices get low and the postoperative drugs kick in. Although only bits and pieces were able to make its way back to my memories after my family greeted me at the PACU, the short memory of my father and his living, breathing presence and sudden goodbye never once slipped my mind. That night, I had lost my father for the second time.

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I Lost My Father For The Second Time