February 24, 2004

On this horrible Monday morning, I was on my way to work with my 2.5 year old son in tow. I look over onto my passenger seat of my minivan and I see a zip lock bag with a note in it. I didnt think anything of it, and kept driving to the day care to drop off my son. I drove past the house that my father was living in with his new wife of 45 days.
I decided to look and see what this was about 1/2 way to the daycare. It was from my Dad. As I read the letter, he admits to a gambling problem and owing family members close to 60,000 dollars. – Forgive him he says. I think nothing of it and tried to call him. The phone just rang.
By time I got to the daycare, his body had been found, in the driveway of the house he was living.
It never dawned on me that his letter was a suicide letter.
It never dawned on me that the phone call he made to me the night before was a call to say “good bye”.
I DROVE RIGHT PAST his house the morning of his suicide.- Could I have stopped him?
Why didn’t he love us enough to stay?
These are all questions that I battle with every day.
My father was a 60 year old father, grandfather, well known Santa Clause in our community and a successful Engineer with a heart of gold.
But he was selfish to take his own life.
I have gotten stronger in the last 9 years. I have come to grips with the fact that I will never know the answers to my questions.
But I do know this….. I will never sit idly by as a loved one struggles. …. I will never allow another “sign” sneak past my eyes again….. I will always cringe when I hear people joking about putting a gun to their head……. and I will do my best to help others that have gone through what I have.
My father was my best friend, my hero, my rock. I love him and miss him more every day.

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