I didn’t want to get out of that room. I wanted to stay by him till the end. I loved him so much! Every second was precious for me. But all the others decided that I was the suitable person to accompany my mother home to have some rest. I kissed him in the forehead, fearing it would be my last and said: wait for me, dad. He had no strength to talk nor open his blue eyes, but he managed to smile. I left the hospital heartbroken. So many remembrances kept in that faint smile, so acute pain in the soul thinking in the approaching farewell. Mom and I went home and she managed to sleep because she was exhausted. At two am I the phone awakened me.
– Come immediately, he is dying.
I got up in a rush and called mom to tell her the we had to go to the hospital. She began to dress up and comb her hair and apply her lipstick, because she wanted to be pretty for my father even in the last instant. I began to get nervous, because we didn’t have time to lose.
– Mom, hurry up, please.
Finally we went out. I drove to the hospital. My mom got out from the car at the door, to arrive as soon as possible, and I continued to find a parking lot. I ran back to the hospital hoping to find my dad alive and having the opportunity to tell him goodby.
He, who almost was executed during WWII, and once thought his body would disappear, and his love, my mom, would never know how much he loved her, was dying at old age, in her bed, surrounded by his wife and children and accompanied by a priest, friend of the family. Far away from his homeland, that’s true, but embraced by love.
When I arrived to the room, he was looking with his blue eyes to my mom, their hands clasped. He had trouble breathing and had an oxygen mask. But it was useless, so the doctor removed it. I asked the priest to pray something, but he was too moved to utter a word.
– Netter pray you something in Croatian, he told me.
I began to repeat the Lord’s prayer and the Hail Mary, my dad’s favourites.
Little by little dad faded looking at mom, his only love of 56 years. When he stopped breathing I stopped praying, the tears overwhelming my voice. The sadness was tremendous. But my soul was invaded by an overwhelming peace. I kissed again his forehead and told him: thank you dad.