Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Month

It's been one month today that my life changed forever.....

November 5, 2011

As Brad and I drove home from Stillwater that night we were on cloud nine. We had just defeated Kansas State in an incredible 52-49 victory. Life was good. We had just spent the entire day with my family doing what we love best....tailgating, socializing, eating, and watching our beloved OSU Cowboys play football. Little did I know that I would never leave another Cowboy football game ever feeling this happy and content. This was the last game I would ever watch my Dad grin from ear to ear while saying, "Here comes 'ol Bullet!" I would never again stand by his side swaying while singing the Oklahoma State Alma Mater hymn. This is how my Dad spent the last few hours of his life. I'm pretty sure, in fact I know I'm sure, that he was the happiest he's ever been the day he died.

As I crawled into bed after mid-night still a little high on life I had no idea my life was about to change forever. It was about 2:30 am when I heard the phone ring. My brother's trembling voice on the other end of the phone told me that my Dad, who I had just seen a few hours ago, was in the hospital fighting for his life. We were told he had a sudden heart attack. I called Becky to come over and stay with my sleeping kids, and Brad and I headed to the hospital in OKC. It never occurred to me that he might not make it.  I mean, I had just spent the entire day with him.  He was a strong, healthy man. 

We arrived at the hospital, and Brad immediately went back to see my Dad.  I could tell by the look on his face when he returned that things were bad.  It was my turn to go in, and I was not prepared for what I saw.  It's something I will never forget, even if I try.  I leaned down and begged him to stay strong. I begged him to be stubborn. But, somehow I knew this would be the last time I saw him alive. I said, "I love you" and left the room.  He was unconscious, but I know he heard me.

Everyone was there.  One at a time we all said our goodbyes before they took him back to surgery. About 45 minutes into surgery, the surgeon came out to talk with us.  He did everything he could, but my Dad passed away on his operating table.  He said that he had died from an aortic aneurysm. 

My life the next few days is such a blur.  I would never had made it without my friends and my family, especially my brothers.  The funeral was beautiful.  We buried him in a bright orange casket with tons of orange roses on top.  He was Pistol Pete after all.  Nothing else would do. 

I miss him everyday, and always will.

James Mitchell Dobson
October 1, 1945-November 6, 2011

This is the last picture my Dad ever took.  I took it only hours before he died.  I'm so glad I had my camera that night. I have looked at this picture 100 times, and remember the exact moment I took it.
I could have never imagined this would be his last. 

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