Yesterday morning my sweet Dad, Frank Olsen Cox, died unexpectedly.
He had not been sick, we had eaten dinner with him on Thursday night and watched a basketball game. He and PapaC played dominoes. Just a regular night. I smooched him good night at 10:15 and told him I'd see him on Friday for Stations of the Cross.
Only I didn't.
He had a "medical event" (don't you love that terminology?) in the shower after walking on his treadmill Friday morning. We will know more when the medical examiner releases his body, probably today.
I am on the way to the funeral home to make arrangements for his funeral.
We are devastated.
My dad was one of a kind. One of the last of a generation of independent oil men, at 76 he still drove more than 65,000 miles a year, working on deals, drilling wells, looking for new stuff.
He took care of my mother with a selfless love that touched every one who knew the two of them. My mother struggled long and hard with her illness--a struggle that lasted for years. And a struggle that my dad helped her with, uncomplainingly and lovingly. We should all be lucky enough to find someone who loves us like that.
People call Frank my stepdad--he married my mom when I was 17. But after 36 years, he's simply my dad. And I can barely stand his passing. He was PapaC's dearest friend in the world. The Zman worshiped and adored his grandfather, and the feeling was mutual. And me? I was the luckiest girl in the world. No one was ever prouder of my accomplishments than he was. No one thought I was more perfect.
This might be harder than my mother's death. We knew how sick she was and we knew we were fighting a losing battle. The surprise part of this--while it might be good for HIM, is simply tearing us to shreds. But I know, I KNOW, that my mother was there to meet him. And that he went the way he would have wanted to go--no trouble to us in the end, no "taking care of Pappaw."
But Pappaw, who will take care of us?
Needless to say, with this on tap and Holy Week coming up as well, the blog will be on hiatus until after Easter. I may get a chance to post a little thought here or there, or a picture or two. But don't hold me to it.
Please, as part of your Easter, say a little prayer for the Southards and for their sweet Pappaw--Frank.