Column: A dreadful goodbye

‘Remembering him as a man who asked for so little but gave so very much, Dad, thank you for your everlasting love and may you always rest in peace.’

He+bought+a+house+with+land%2C+ran+a+successful+business%2C+and+still+managed+to+live+life+to+the+fullest+under+all+the+stress+and+pain.

Agustina Santo Bono

“He bought a house with land, ran a successful business, and still managed to live life to the fullest under all the stress and pain.”

By Agustina Santo Bono, Lewisville High School - TX

My cheeks get hot and my vision starts to blur. I feel the tears trickle down my face, despite my efforts to stop them. I miss my father. I can’t stop thinking about holding his hand in the very last moments of life. 

Every night, as soon as I close my eyes, I am brought back to the weekend he passed. I see my dad on the hospital bed; the strongest person I know at his weakest. In January he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and his liver was failing, so he developed jaundice. I notice his thin hand reaching for mine. I hold it as tight as I could. The heart monitor struggles to pick up his heartbeat and a nurse comes in, rushing to grab her stethoscope. She pauses, and that’s when she puts her head down. At this point, my mind goes blank.

Going back to school was the hardest. I wake up imagining that he’s on the porch waiting for me to head to the bus stop, telling me to wear something warmer to prevent getting sick.

Walking to class with the echoes of current and previous teachers repeating “Sorry for your loss” and “Stay strong for your dad,” knowing I won’t be able to hold myself together without him here. I’ve learned to fake a smile. A quick “Thank you” and gentle grin is all I need to say for them to go away. I walk the crowded halls in hopes to feel him near me, looking down on me, guiding me.

My dad always wanted to bring the life he had back in Uruguay to Texas. Fortunately, he was able to do so. He bought a house with land, ran a successful business and still managed to live life to the fullest under all the stress and pain. His eye-opening lectures and words of wisdom shaped the person who I am today. I’m proud to say I hold his hardworking, patient and determined mindset that he carried every day. 

Not a day goes by without missing him, and not a day goes by where I don’t feel him around. Since he’s passed, I’ve been more observant and conscious about the things surrounding me like the weather, the smell and the places that hold valuable memories. 

Remembering him as a man who asked for so little but gave so very much, Dad, thank you for your everlasting love and may you always rest in peace.

This story was originally published on Farmers’ Harvest on March 30, 2022.