Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Neal Edwards Birmingham (1929-2011)

My Father passed away in the early morning hours on Saturday, April 30, 2011 in Atlanta, Texas. He ws 81. I called him on Saturday morning around noon (Yes, I talked to him because we live on Saipan which is ahead of Texas time by 15 hours). I was the last person outside of Joan and the staff at the nursing home he was staying. He had never been in a nursing home and was only to be there for 10 days while he did some rehab so he could go home.
He did not say to much when I talked to him. I know we both ended by saying "I love you" so that means alot to me.
I knew when I woke up on Sunday and saw Joan's number on my phone that it was probably not good news. I was right. I called her back and she told me the news very straight forward. I had prepared for it somewhat, but it was still difficult to hear. I did not go back for the funeral because of the cost. It was $2900 on a last minute ticket from Saipan.
I loved my Dad, but had not seen much of him over the past several years. We only get back to the States once every three years, but I do talk to him on the phone.
He was never really scared of death. Oh, I guess we are all are in some way. He had a medical emergency about twenty years ago and we thought we were going to lose him then. He made a full recovery. He told me that as he laid there on the floor, knowing that the ambulance and doctors would not arrive in time and even then could not do much, he thanked God for his life and his family and was ready to go. From then on I did not worry much about him in that regard. He had a great life and his greatest fear (he told me) never came to pass. He said that he did not want to outlive any of his children. We're all still here and will be seeing him again in our time.

I love you daddy.

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