Around 4:00 p.m. on that Thursday, I got a call from my mom. I was on a conference call so she left a voicemail. She said, "Dad had a heart attack. Call me. I'm going to George Washington Hospital." I called her back, said I'll drive, then picked her up and headed to DC. We listened to Christmas music the whole way.
An hour later, we parked in a garage and walked across the street in the freezing wind. We went to the Emergency Department, checked in, and waited. A nurse came out to us and asked us to wait in the chapel so the doctor could come speak to us. While there, we met with one of dad's co-workers that was there when it happened. I texted Jonathan (my husband) and Lisa (my brother's wife) and let them know we were being taken to a separate room for someone to talk to us. We knew what it meant.
The doctor came in and sat down. I grabbed my mom's hand. He spoke. "My name is _____. I'm one of the doctors that worked on your husband. We worked on him for 90 minutes. Unfortunately, we could not revive him." I think that's what he said. I don't remember. I just remember the sound and color escaping from the room.
We went to see my dad's body. I hugged him. We went back out to the waiting room.
My brother was driving down to the hospital to be with all of us. I called Lisa to tell her and asked if I should tell Rich, and she said that we should wait to tell him in person. I called Jonathan and wept in the empty corner of the waiting room. He wept with me. I called my Uncle to tell him. I texted close friends because I couldn't get any more words out.
I went back to his room to collect his things and they had already cleaned out the room and were about to take him to the morgue. I asked them to stop so we could give my brother a chance to say goodbye. I went to security to get his things. I carried back 2 very full bags that contained his torn down coat, his torn suit jacket, shoes, belt, socks, torn shirt, keys, wallet, portfolio, wedding ring, and his gold Casio watch. I brought them all out to the waiting room and kept them slightly out of my mom's view as she continued making phone calls.
"This is so weird" was the only phrase I could continue muttering to my mom as we made phone calls.
Rich came. Mom told him. He went into a corner. I slowly approached him and asked if he wanted to see dad. I guided him to the back and showed him where he was.
I went to the nurse's station to ask if there were any other steps we needed to take at this time. She wrote down information to give to my mom. We went back to the lobby where mom was still making calls. I updated Facebook because I was tired of answering individual texts and telling the same information over and over again.
We walked out of George Washington hospital with my dad's clothes and items and loaded them into my car and my brother drove my mom home. I listened to the Hamilton Mixtape on my way home. I skipped "Quiet Uptown".