daturas' garden

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Location: Ontario, Canada

June 27, 2009


this morning i woke up at 4 o'clock. i have no english equivalent to the emotions that swept over me. i understand those italian grandmothers who wail on and on for their loved ones in passing.
i cried, shook, drooled, sobbed silent and cried some more. then i woke my sister up wailing and cried some more. greg rocked me, held me safe while my body convulsed and essentially caught up to the events sped, stored, shocked and burned in my memory. brains eventually might, but body cells never forget. i doubt driving will ever be the same.

"m'am, don't get out of your car on the highway."
after the officer confirmed that no, he could not escort me to sutton, the urgency of the situation hit hard. i think my dad is dead, i have to get to the house.
he had sympathy, but what do you do with a girl in white with a name tag on bawling about a would be scenario? he waits until i'm calm, lets me off and says stay safe, there's a speed trap ahead and that officer won't care what you have to say. he waited for me to pull back onto the road and drives away.

I listened to Thom Yorke sing Reckoner on repeat. it was going to take me another agonizing 45 minutes under hopeful sun and assuring blue sky down winding country roads before my biggest fear since my mother died was confirmed immediately. I wondered if this was why I wasn't in arizona. I had to be here for my father. A/C on, Yaris slowing, stomach wretching i turned down the private road in sutton to the well loved cottage house where my dad had his name proudly displayed in tacky letters on the mail box.

its 7:22am, saturday morning. i'm going to make another coffee. everyone is still rightfully asleep. we haven't left each others side for three days. all phones are charging.

three police cars, the black coroners van and a champagne truck. officers and men in suits are standing outside, lights are flashing and cars are running. the photographer gets into the truck as i stop slightly to the right of the middle of the road and open the door. the heat hits me. this is right out of C.S.I i swear.
Are you Kellie? A nice man in a suit asks me. He's standing with the coroner and a notepad. He said he's sorry to be the one to tell me, my father has passed away. funny, you never know how your body and mind will respond to that, especially after being worked up and adrenaline ready. as ready as you can be. The first thing I asked about was the dog. Where's Dax. They told me she wouldn't let the men in the house, but let the woman officer coax her into the backyard. They brought her food and water.

The questions beging before my head has a chance to spin. I pray for patience, Greg is on his way. I did my best to offer what little information I had for them under the circumstances, without know fully what those circumstances even were yet. The nice men walk away, and an awkward man approaches me telling me he needs a statement, I needed him to just back off.

I walked over to the coroners van and the man who greeted me first. I want to go into the house. We don't reccommend that. People like to remember their loved ones as they were. I appreciate that. I need to go into the house. Compassion for the daughter of the deceased overrides and I am escorted onto the premises and through the familiar, open front door. I have no regrets.

The house is cool and clean. Walking in I think of my brother and sister, my grandparents, the fathers day we just had and how sincerely lucky we are to have those recent memories.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, co workers and people who just care so very much;
Allan Spicer died peacefully in his home. He was, as witnessed, sitting in the recliner chair with an empty glass of red wine and a fork beside him. The tv remote sat in front of him on the coffee table along with the printed off pages he made listing the HD channels for his TV that he could never quite remember. The wine, my brother had given him for fathers day. On the dining table behind the living room in his house rested his hat, his sunglasses and current pictures he'd had printed for us because he said it was just nice to have photographs sometimes instead of digital pictures.

I am blessed that the angels let me be here for this, for you, for my dad. I consider every second of this unexpected loss to be a gift. What my father went through in his 58 years was more than what most people dream to do in 100. Ultimately it took its toll. We are all loved and know it well. In the event of his death, my father has had all arrangements gift wrapped, stamped and sealed for us. Let this be an example to everyone young and old. The only thing we have to do is our best to go through the motions and ship it off in good time.

The baby is being fed, the dog is on her way outside and i'm about done my second coffee. There is still so much to be done in a very short time. I want to thank Kathy and Tammy who worked with my dad for their keen, brave and active concern. Also for closing the clinic and being at the house with us on Wednesday. Jeanette, who knew my parents professionally and personally before I was born for calling the York Region Police and taking care of me via cell phone on the road. Greg for calling 911 under pressure, meeting me there and never leaving my side. You lost a good friend and my dad loved you so very much. Uncle Joel and Kevin (in order of arrival) for being here so fast without question, you are treasured! Thank you. Tricia, you'll always be my friend - you know too much. Tara for sending out the emails and spreading the news. My grandparents for all their love and support in this extremely difficult time, no parent should ever outlive their child. My siblings Erin and Kevin, my soon to be siblings Kara and Ryan, for taking the news so well and supporting each other. I'm so sorry. To every single person I can't mention at this moment Thank You in advance for your support and love.
Please share your memories with us, and others. This is a celebration of LiFE.

Allan Robert Spicer
Son, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend.
November 25, 1950-June 24, 2009
Rider on the Storm

June 26, 2009

my dad was always proud of this blog. he printed every post out page by page in colour and put it in a folder "for me". my dad died wednesday. june 24. yesterday was my parents 30th anniversary. i'd say at least they can be together, but who's idea of heaven is the same as their ideas of life on earth? i hope he's somewhere better than 30 years of marriage. although i do hope they got a chance to acknowledge each othe in the spirit world. whatever.
i'm sitting here typing on my brothers girlfriend's laptop. the keys are so springy, its making this post fun. i have my five month old nephew sleeping on my chest in a makeshift baby wrap pashmina so i have hands free. my coffee is cold but delicious. its early for all who were up late processing. the appartment is quiet. the sun is coming through the window in intervals. everytime i look up something new about my dad on facebook or start to get emotional, it shines so bright i have to cover the baby's face. i'm so lucky to have family around me. ...and there's that sunshine.

really didn't see this coming. we all had a chance to give it one last visit, one last phone call before the one i got that my dad didn't show up for work.
get some one to the house, i said. he was complaining of chest pain over the weekend.
another call from a friend who knew both my parents before i was born, and worked with my dad.
kellie, i knew your mom and dad honey, its not like your dad to miss work like this, i've called the police to go check on the house. i'll call you as soon as i hear.
i'm supposed to sit still? this was at ten thirty. by one i still hadn't heard anything so i called her back. the police had just arrived at her work to get information.
furious! that no one had been to the house yet i left work and called greg. i yelled at him to call 911 and hung up the phone. the drive up the 400 to newmarket was automatic but by the time on turned onto davis i was officially not ok to drive. i was also doing 120 in a 70. begging for the police officer i just sped past to pull me over, i saw flashing lights behind me and did just that.