My mother begged his doctors for my brothers and I to be nearby as soon as the decision was made to take him off life support. It was a military-based hospital and minors weren't allowed in ICU. Well, that and my parents were never married so we weren't considered his children. In a country where Catholicism is the predominant religion practiced, bastard children were very much frowned upon. It actually states on my birth certificate that I am an 'Illegitimate' child. For real. I will have to retrieve it from my safe deposit box and photograph it to show you but it has no relevance now. I am my father's child whether a religious group deems it or not. I had a little over 7 years of my life to share with him but a lifetime of getting to know the siblings that I share through his legacy.
To this day, I often wonder how much NOT having him in my life has affected my life. Some things I can definitely make the connection with his loss, others I try and take responsibility for and the rest of the time the lines get blurred and I end up praying to God that "this too, shall pass." I miss my papa dearly and no matter how many years go by without him, I know that he'll always be in my heart.