Random Thoughts About My Dad

Dad Holding Torino

Three Generations

My Dad, William Edward Cornell, Jr., passed away last month. I have a whole swarm of things in my head swirling around this, and I’m not really sure how to get them all out.

There are a thousand little details that are so vibrant in my brain but are really not important, and in most cases, not very intersting. For example, when my mom called I was squeezing some game time in, playing my Elementalist in GuildWars 2. While my wife and I were sitting on the floor sobbing, my toon got attacked and killed in the game, then somebody came by and resurrected her, and a few moments later she got killed again. This drama playing out in front of me seemed like it should be oh so important, but it was something I just couldn’t quite grasp. And now it is a bright memory in my mind.

He died in his garden. They believe it was cardiac arrest. Basically a major artery got blocked by plaque and platelettes and his heart stopped beating. He fell face down at the edge of the butter lettuce. They said that since he fell on his face, he was out before he even hit the ground.

When my mom found him a few minutes later, she rolled him onto the butter lettuce to do CPR on him. The paramedics got there quickly and also performed their own CPR on him as they rushed him off to the hospital. But this is about the lettuce. The lettuce when I got there the next day was a bit mushed a bruised where he’d lain. Within a few days it was perky and happy. That seemed somehow wrong; distorted; disrespectful. The lettuce should have remained squished, and maybe even taken it upon itself to be browned a bit more in the outline where my Dad laid.

My Dad’s garden was quite good this year. He had a customized automated irrigation system in place which he’s been evolving over several years. It was laid out well, and pretty much took care of itself. The rampant life of his garden quickly overwhelmed the minor inconvenience of his death within it.

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