father

‘Collapsed? Was this a joke? Who was this man? Then I asked the worst question. ‘Is he breathing?’: Wife’s recalls ‘nagging feeling’ her ‘young, healthy’ husband had before his untimely death

“How does a healthy 31-year-old man who had taken his 2-year-old on a bike ride the night before suddenly collapse 18 hours later? I was asked questions like, ‘How often did David faint?’ or ‘Did his lips ever turn blue?’ Zero. Never. None of that ever happened. But he still had a bad feeling.”

‘I missed the sign, Daddy. I am so sorry. I never imagined this would be the last time I’d see you. I’m so glad I took this photo with you. It became your obituary photo.’

“You called me to ask about a project, and prior to the call, you texted as well. You promised to come to see me Monday and help me move out of the dorm. We were going to have a ‘daddy-daughter date,’ but 40 minutes later, I got the call I never expected. I had 37 missed calls. Daddy, you never even crossed my mind.”

‘My husband bungee corded my kid to the backseat. Not kidding. She was 3 years old. I honestly didn’t believe it. But there she was, strapped in a makeshift five-point harness.’

“He let me sleep in. Imagine my shock waking up at 10 a.m. to not a sound in the world. Not the pitter patter of little feet, not the tugging of my sheets followed by, ‘mom, mom, mom,’ not the sounds of cartoons. I yawned, threw my hair into a messy bun and made my way downstairs thinking I would find an empty house or sleeping angel children. I didn’t find that.”

‘Hun, whatcha doing? You ok in there?’ Silence. ‘Hun…?’ I tried turning the knob. Locked. My heartbeat grew faster. My voice got louder. I banged my fists on the door. I couldn’t save him.’

“We went to bed, said our ‘I love you’s.’ He rubbed my back as I drifted off to sleep. At 5:00 a.m., I awoke to use the bathroom. I guess he couldn’t sleep? He wasn’t in bed. He must be downstairs. The TV wasn’t on. No living room lights. Just a faint glow from the bottom of the bathroom door.”

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