“Tove! They found dad. Dad! They found him! They found him by the water! Tove, he’s not doing well.”
May 17, 2008 was the day my sister in Denmark called me frantically. We were on our way home from Costco. I saw her first call and figured I would call her back when I got home. Then she called again – and again, and I knew something was wrong. She was out of breath when I answered, her voice panicked and she made little to no sense at all. Our dad, found? I didn’t even know he was missing. What was he doing by the water in May, was he IN the water? The water would have been really cold! None of it was making sense. I tried to telepathically connect with my dad, but there was complete radio silence. The unexpected had happened!
Fast forward seven years, things are clearer now. We know what happened with my dad, well, we sort of know, in broad terms. We don’t know the details though, and that’s something that still pains me.
[bctt tweet=”Are you prepared for the unexpected to happen? We weren’t… but I wish we had been!”]
The extremely abbreviated story is that my dad (healthy and with no known medical conditions) went fishing the afternoon of May 17th. He promised he would be home by 4:00pm, and my dad was as reliable and dependable as the day is long. When my mother didn’t hear from him at 4:00pm she became worried, he was THAT punctual. She called his cell phone several times, but there was no answer.
A while later she received a call from my dad’s phone, but the person calling was a first responder, which is obviously never a good sign.
My dad had been fishing off a medium sized cliff when he suffered from a ruptured aneurysm in his brain. He fell through the brush on the cliff and down the embankment. A woman who was out for a run heard moaning, but she couldn’t see exactly where the sound was coming from. She ran a mile to the nearest phone and called for help.
Help arrived, but my dad was unconscious and he did not have any identification with him since he rode his bike there. The only way they identified him was by looking at his cell phone and calling the number that had been trying to reach him for the past hour or two.
This story doesn’t have a happy ending. He was in a coma for three weeks until we were informed that he would never wake up. We followed his final wishes and ended life support. He passed away almost a week later.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this story, it is the fact that unexpected things happen unexpectedly! My dad was found without identification, but it was his cell phone that lead the first responders to my mother.
When emergencies happen, time is of the essence. What if he had a medical condition that required specific care and consideration – (other than the aneurysm, which we didn’t know about). What if he had been found sooner? What if…
If the unexpected was to happen to you or a loved one, are you prepared? I know this is not something we like to think about, but it’s necessary. Put your plans in place once (NOW) and then rest assured that you did what you could to prevent further tragedy.
Next week, I will share easy-to-implement “emergency family procedures”, a free printable to complete and give to your friends and family, and awesome tips to keep your family safe in case of the unexpected.
I am sorry if this post was not one of my more uplifting ones, but this is a topic that is important to every single person, especially families with children.
What have you and your family done to prepare for the unexpected? Please share in the comments!
That year we had other unexpected life changing events:
“Be Where You Are” – The Words That Changed Everything
Valerie @ Momma in Progress says
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about your father. I know how tough it is to lose your dad. It’s a void that can’t be filled.
Thank you for sharing Tove, this is a very important topic. I’m so sorry about your father. I’ll be looking forward to your printable next week. Do you know where to get a good medical alert bracelet? Thanks!
Mama in the Now says
🙂 I will have lots of good tips and ideas next week for SURE! I just ordered a Road ID for myself, it was afforable, durable and it stands out enough to be effective.
That’s so incredibly scary! I’m so glad he survived…
Emily @ My Love for Words says
Oh Tove, I’m so sorry. What a horrible experience for you all. I can relate to the unexpected. My father died in a plane crash when I was 5. While it might not be a fun topic, it’s absolutely necessary to address. I can’t wait to see next week’s post and your printable. While my husband and I have done some prep should something happen to us, I’m sure we could do more.
Mama in the Now says
Oh Emily – that’s horrific. Thanks for sharing your story – it must have been hard for you. 🙁
I’m so sorry to hear this Tove, and don’t apologize for sharing your story, it’s what makes us who we are. Truthfully, I haven’t lost anyone near and dear to me, like a parent or a sibling or even a good friend (can’t even fathom losing my husband or kids). I’m sometimes too imaginative and think about what I would do if something terrible happened to my loved ones. I’ve realized that no amount of thinking about it could compare to if or when it actually does, sadly.
We do have precautions in place for our kids, life insurance, and we have their guardians selected. It’s a terrible thought, but something I wouldn’t want my kids to inherit should we pass before them in their early years.
Allison @ Frugal on the Prairie says
Tove, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I know it was years ago but I’m sure sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Memories like that just don’t fade over time.
Thank you for sharing your story to bring awareness to such an important topic! It sounds morbid but as soon as we found out we were pregnant we arranged our will, legal guardianship details should we both pass away, life insurance details, etc. so that we could be as prepared as possible.