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The world keeps going

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By Barbara Rutledge

Where were they going? I watched as the cars and trucks hurried north and south on U.S. 521. Drivers would stop and turn into the parking lot of the fast food restaurant. Some parked, walked in and ordered their food. Others made their way through the drive-through line.

The sounds of patrons’ conversations resembled the humming around a bee hive. I babysat a cup of coffee while talking to my brother sitting across the table from me. I was wearing workout clothes, had no makeup on and my hair was wet.

Earlier that morning, the call from the ICU nurse said I needed to come quickly. I did. It hadn’t been long since I left. But Daddy died before I got back.

Call it intuition or whatever, but as I was leaving the hospital the night before I sensed he was going to die soon. I sensed it as I sat on my porch steps watching the lunar eclipse late that night. As the moon disappeared behind the earth’s shadow I had a feeling it was the last night he would be alive.

While we knew it was going to happen, were told it was going to happen, it didn’t make it any easier. The hospital’s ICU staff gave us our privacy as my brother and I said our good-byes.

We left the hospital, went to the restaurant and waited for the funeral home to call. I was numb and wondering why everyone was going on with their busy lives. I wanted to run out in the middle of all the traffic congestion and say, “Where are you all going, don’t you know my Daddy just died?”

Then I remembered something a friend told me years ago. He was despondent right after his father died.

“Barbara, for me, at that my moment, my world stopped,” he said. “But I looked around and everyone kept going on about their business. The world didn’t stop. The world kept going.”

Sitting in that restaurant, I understood exactly what he meant.

The world does go on.

In my 59 years on earth this will be my first Father’s Day without Daddy. No funny cards. No gadget gifts. No meal surrounded by family and laughter. Just red roses on a grave.

But I realize how fortunate I was to be raised by wonderful parents. I am grateful I had a father, who went to work everyday, provided for our family, loved my mother, spent quality time with my brother and me, had a good sense of humor, lots of friends and taught me valuable lessons about life.

Sports writer Robert Howey wrote today’s Father’s Day editorial. In it he shares some attributes of dads.

I echo his sentiments. If you don’t have your dad, take a moment to remember him in reverence.

If you still have him, not only tell him how much you love and appreciate him, show him.

He deserves it.