June 5, 2012

My Courageous Son

This arrived in my inbox four days before our son, Joshua's, wedding day:
Hi Daune
I wrote Dan last night, please tell him to check his dinosaur e mail. Rick died last night! He was feeling great and going to have the final amputation this morning but he suddenly got dizzy and had a massive heart attack. They tried for an hour to save him but couldn't.  
Eric is flying home tonight. Chris is with me now. Rick's sister Linda and Charley are going to the funeral home with me this morning.
Love you
The lump in my throat was choking me as I frantically phoned Daniel.  He got the news minutes before I did, left work and flew over here.  As he pulled up to the front of the house, my heart was crushed for him.  The grief was unbearable as he related that this wonderful man was like a father to him.  The timing could not be worse and what was he going to do?  We held each other, weeping, then sank down to the ground, grappling for answers.  There were none.  Time stops at moments like this.

Rick Payne had celebrated his fifty-ninth birthday the Friday before, the day the surgeon amputated his foot.  This amazing man loved our son, Daniel, as his own.  They travelled to Hawaii when Dan and Eric lived there and lavished on them.  That will be a trip never to be forgotten.

Yet his wife, Donna, encouraged my son to shelf this news until after the wedding...Dan was the best man, and his brother needed him.

So, my amazing son pressed on.  He celebrated his brother and new sister-in-law, gave a stellar performance as DJ at the reception and tomorrow, early, is flying up to NY to support and love his family up there. 

I am so honored to be this man's mother and I know that his being with Donna, his best friend, Eric and their family will be a tough, but necessary journey he has to take.

I love you son.


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