Yesterday was spent frantically trying to get a flight booked for me to fly out to Portland that wouldn't cost us an arm and a leg. Thanks to a GREAT friend with some extra miles I was able to get that taken care of. Called my sister to let her know that I would be arriving Friday and flying back home the following Tuesday. My brother and his family were heading down on Friday as well.
A few hours later Katie called me to tell that I needed to get there sooner. Like THAT night sooner. I didn't have it in me to look for flights again, plus with Thanksgiving and it being the worst possible time to fly anyway I just started to cry. I figured that my dad knew I was coming and if I was supposed to see him I would. I asked Katie to put the phone next to my dad's ear. I told him that I loved him and I always would. I was sorry for not being there. And more than anything I thanked him for being the best dad and papa.
Last night I went to bed and deliberately left both phones downstairs. When I woke up there was a message from Katie with an update. I called fully expecting to be told he had passed away. Instead, I got to tell him one more time how much I loved him and that it was alright to go. About 45 minutes later he passed.
The old saying of "Anyone can be a father, but it's takes someone special to be a dad" is very very true in this instance. I might not have been his daughter biologically, but in every way that actually counts and matters I was his and he was mine.