Creating 2015—Day 59:   Remembering, Daddy

Posted by

Creating 2015—Day 59:   Remembering, Daddy

February 27, 2014 at 11am in California:  I am on the phone with my brother Bill.  “I think Monday will be too late,” he says.  He has just come from talking with Daddy in the back bedroom at the farm.  “Really?  But Lori asked the hospice worker if next Friday would be soon enough for me to fly back in and she said yes but I still changed it to fly back on Monday.”  I was just in MO seven days ago.  “Monday will be too late,” he quietly says again.  The eldest of my siblings, Bill knows the implications of what he’s saying to me.  I do, too.  My heart races.  Tears well.  “Okay. I’ll get on a plane.”

I am at the Los Angeles International Airport sitting in my Southwest seat ready to fly to Missouri 4 hours later.  I land in Kansas City that evening.  I impatiently listen to the Enterprise Rental car kid trying to upsell me from economy to intermediate.  “Fine, whatever, I need to go!”  I am on a mission.  I must get to my Dad before it’s too late.  I finally get my rental car to drive the two hours to my family’s farm.  It’s dark.  The ground is covered with snow.  Luckily, the freeway—or highway as they say in the Midwest—is plowed and clear.  I fly.

Once at the farm, the driveway is snowed in so I can’t get the rental all the way down to the house.  I park at the entrance, slap on my backpack and wade through the foot deep snowdrifts to the sliding glass doors of the old house.  The lights are off in the front room.  I drop my stuff and head straight for the back bedroom where I know my Dad is.  I creak open the door.  My mother struggles to help Daddy stay upright with one hand on his back and with the other holds a glass of water to his mouth.  I immediately go into action.  I whip off my boots, crawl on the bed—one side is flush against a wall—to get to the other side of him so I can help her hold him up.  He has no strength left.  He is practically dead weight.  I wish I was stronger.  I maneuver around so I can brace myself to help hold him up.  “Don’t hurt yourself,” he says.

After some struggle, he finally gets enough water in his mouth to wash down a chalky Oxycodone.  His mouth is beyond bone dry.  There is no spit to be found.  His body is losing all of its fluid.  I have read about this.  I am prepared.  He is in the active phase of dying.  “I am here, Daddy. I am here.”

February 28, 2014 at 9:30am in Missouri:  I am by my Dad’s side, my hand on his chest, as he takes his last breath—the most profound experience, privilege and honor of my life.  I will never forget it or you, Daddy.  I will love you forever.  Thank you.

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…profound experiences.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.


  1. What an incredible and visual memory of your last days with your Dad.
    Thank you for sharing this. Sending you love and light!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *