Today: Apr 21, 2024

Gaining the greatest angel of all

Kaitlin O’Brien, Staff Writer-

It was Easter weekend during my sophomore year of college.  I was home babysitting my cousin on a Friday night and around 11:30 that night, I received a phone call that has proven to be one of the worst phone calls I have ever gotten.  It was one of my dad’s friends saying he had been rushed to the hospital and that I need to come.  My heart instantly dropped and I said to myself, “he’ll be okay, he’s always okay.”  I called my uncle, and within minutes he was home and we went up together to the hospital.

My eldest brother met my uncle and I at the hospital and when I got there I was greeted by many of my dad’s friends from AA.  He had been an active member for nearly 14 years and they were all such a family.  It meant so much to me, and I know how much it meant to my dad that all of his friends were there.  They only allowed two people in at a time so my brother and I went in.  I was told before I walked in that he had a stroke and his speech was slurred.  

I still thought to myself that it was going to be okay.  When I walked in he greeted me with the biggest smile and I sat down next to him and held his hand for nearly 20 minutes.  He could barely get out a full sentence because of the stroke he had, however he knew I was there and kept squeezing my hand to let me know he knew I was there.

Around 4 a.m., they moved him up to ICU where they told us we were allowed to come back when visiting hours started at 8 a.m.  At this point, I hadn’t informed anyone I was even at the hospital so I dropped my uncle off, headed home and just I was getting into bed, I heard the house phone ring.  A phone call at 4:30 in the morning can never be good no matter what.   I jumped out of bed, met my mom and sister in the hallway and because my mom hadn’t known, she said, “who’s your step-dad talking to?” I said we have to go.  It’s daddy.

The three of us immediately rushed to the hospital and met my uncle in the parking lot.  As we walked in and up the elevator my heart had never been racing as fast as it was now.  We went into ICU, they asked for the last name, and said, “You’ll need to follow us to this room.”  We followed, saw three doctors sitting at a table with my brother standing behind them gazing out the window.  My sister and I sat down, the doctors looked at us and said, “I’m sorry but we couldn’t save him.”

My whole world changed April 11, 2009.  I had never lost anyone in my life before my dad and on top of it all, he was my best friend.  It will be two years and I have never expressed to many people the actual story of the night it happened.  You always take everything in your life for granted, and as I wrote my opinion piece last week on my internship at Z100 and how I credit my dad for much of my success, I thought it was time to put into words about how much he meant to me.

Cherish everyone that is important in your life every single day.  Your parents are your parents no matter what happens in your life.  They brought you into this world, and I couldn’t have had a better father than the one I had.  I hear many people yelling and screaming as they walk to and from class at their parents, and although everyone’s situation is different, remember that not everyone has parents that they can call every day.  Many people can also go days without talking to their parents and when their parents call them I see students just say “oh I’ll call them back later.”  I used to call my dad every day after my 8:10 a.m. and many times I still reach for the phone to do so and realize I can’t do that anymore.

You only have one life.  Cherish everything and take chances. Live your life with no regrets.  You never know if it will be your last time to see someone so make sure you tell the people you love how much you love them.  In a blink of an eye, your life can change forever.  I cherish my life even more so than before and I did lose a best friend, but I gained the greatest angel of all.


  1. There are no words to express the sheer awesomeness of this story…you are right, you couldn’t have ordered a more perfect guardian angel xo

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