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  • My Dad

January 01, 2024

By Victoria Fuson 

My mom never checked me and my sister out of school, unless we had a doctor's appointment or we were really sick. I was in my seventh grade science class with Mrs. Wilson. We were learning about cells, and I was wearing a navy jacket and gray sweatpants. The phone rang and I didn’t think it was for me, because mom never checked us out. Mrs. Wilson said: "Victoria, you're checking out." I was confused but didn't think anything of it. I met my sister in the hallway, and we walked up to the front office together and saw my mom. You could tell she was upset about something. At first, I thought it had to do with my mamaw because she was having some health problems. We got into the car and she said, "We are going to Paducah to see your dad." I was so happy, because I hadn't seen him since he'd moved and now I was going to get to see my best friend. I was a daddy's girl. We were two peas in a pod. We did everything together.

 

We went to our house to get some some stuff together, but you could tell Mom was distraught. I asked if she was okay, and she started crying; then I knew something was wrong. My dad had always been in and out of my life because he was on drugs and in and out of jail, but those things had never changed how I thought of him. He was my superhero; we went through everything together. My mom sat me and my little sister, Aubrey, down on the couch with tears in her eyes. She said: "I'm so sorry." We didn't know what was going on, so I asked and she said, "Your dad is in the hospital." We started crying. We got in the car and started driving to the hospital.

 

When we got there, my mamaw, Pam, was outside. She hugged me and Aubrey and said, "Your dad loved you guys so much." At this point, I knew something was really bad, but that he would pull through it. We went up the elevator to his room. It's hard seeing your best friend, your role model, your favorite person in the world look like that. He was tied up to monitors, he was on a ventilator, and he was also handcuffed at the feet and wrists. We had no clue what was going on. My mom took us out of the room and said we were going to stay the night in the waiting room. She made us eat and we slept, and the next day we woke up and went to go sit in the room with him, but the doctor pulled my mom out of his room and into a different room. She came out crying hysterically and came over to me and my sister and said, "I'm so sorry, girls, but your dad isn't gonna make it."

 

We lost it. We went into the room for the last time to say our goodbyes. I held his hand as they took him off the ventilator. I sat there holding my dad's hand as he took his last breath. I gave him a kiss on the head for the last time and left. That was the last time I got to see my dad. I was so in denial, that I waited for him to call me all day everyday just to hear his voice. The funeral was awful. I have no memory of it other than standing over him with a picture of me and Aubrey in his hands.

 

I've learned to deal with the pain of losing him over the years. Some days are better than others, and my mom has been the biggest part in helping me and my sister cope because she also lost her dad. Now, I idolize my dad because he doesn't have to be in pain anymore and he's in a better place. It sucks not being able to pick up the phone to call him when I miss him, but I know he's watching over me. I hope me and Aubrey are making him so proud up there in the clouds!