Draven looks just like you did when you were his age. I wish I knew what you were like back then. The kids know your voice, they know when your songs come on our playlist mix. They wish they could've met you. Me too. I know they would've loved you.
In the spirit of keeping your memory alive, I want to recount the days prior to your passing. You had only been home a few days from the hospital, still wearing the neck brace and bandages from the spinal fusion, and quite out of it because of the new medication the doc gave you. So I'd come to check on you and spend some time with you and Linda. I recall one night in particular...
We were all three sitting in the living room kinda watching TV. Dad had glanced out sliding glass door right next to his chair. And then he looked at me and asked why that truck was still in the jacuzzi. I chuckled and got up to go look out back and in the Florida Room. Obviously, I didn't see what he was seeing. Those were some pretty strong meds!! So I went back over and sat down and said, "You don't remember Dad?"
"Remember what, baby?"
"Last night, the concert, the bands, bringing them all back home?"
He ponders for a moment shaking his head, fiercely searching for the memory.
"Dad, how can you not remember that?? There were 5 bands at that concert. Do you remember the girls?"
He ponders again, "Well... yeah... I guess I kinda remember."
So now I'm holding in my intense urge to laugh. He shouldn't be remember anything, because NONE of this happened. So I continue.
"Daaaaadd!!! You got to actually MEET all the bands. And during the show you had like 8 lap dances from those beautiful girls."
Linda is losing it now, trying so hard to keep a straight face, and failing horribly to hold in her laughter. But Dad doesn't notice. He is desperately looking for a memory, any memory of why he sees this enormous truck crashed into his Florida Room jacuzzi.
"Okay... yeah... I kind of remember some of that. What happened?"
So I, being the loving, supportive daughter that I am, fabricate this enormous memory for my father, who had been continually hallucinating from this new medication since he came home from the hospital.
"Alright Dad, this is what happened. We went to a show last night, you, Linda, Todd, and me. There were tons of people there, five rock bands, a pretty outrageous bar, and gogo dancers. We listened to the bands, ate food, drank a lot, and then got to party with the band members. You even played some music with them! Well, closing time came and we all had to leave, so YOU invited everyone who was still there to come over here to the house to continue the party. The bands brought their instruments to play, and their gogo dancers because you seemed to really enjoy all the lap dances they were giving you. You really don't remember all this??"
Steam was coming off the top of his head, I could see the wheels were turning. I'm sure by now he's seeing in his head what I've described.
"Yeah, that... sounds... right. Lap dances huh?"
"Oh those girls were all over you Dad! I can't believe you wouldn't remember them. They seemed pretty into you. You even got a few phone numbers handed to you."
He looks out the sliding glass door and asks, "So that's why the back yard is wrecked and why that car is flipped over in the grass?"
"Yeah, there were a lot of people here and it got pretty wild."
"That must be why I'm feeling so hungover."
I chuckled, "Yep, probably. Do you remember getting all the bands' autographs?"
"Well... I... kinda remember. Wow!"
"It was great Dad. Nice of you to bring them all home with you."
He's still searching, really hard, for these false memories. I'm cracking up.
"Yeah, I kinda remember that."
"We should really do it again sometime."
Shortly after that, I went home. I never told him it wasn't true. So one of my very last memories of Dad was laughing with him about this wild party with music, booze, and lap dances that never happened. The next day I came back to sit with him while Linda ran some errands. He saw Indians hiding out in his back yard as if they were about to ambush the house, walked into the kitchen to grab a knife, and then headed for the sliding door because he was going to kill them. But he couldn't figure out how to open the door. I don't recall what other strange things he did that day while I was there. Late that night he fell asleep in his favorite chair, permanently.
The next morning, I refused to walk into that house and allow my father's empty shell to be the last memory I had of him. I couldn't do it. I'm glad that I didn't see, because the last memory I have of him is a great one. Cheering him up and convincing him that he had a wild party with happy people, music, and lap dances. I sure do miss him.