I had made plans, due to my wife’s encouragement, to retrieve my eldest daughter Mena (who was seven at the time) from her mother, who was living in Florida; this arrangement was made due, in part, to my father’s already failing health. I had set up a bargain basement flight schedule, which included a layover in Chicago on the way down and Dulles Airport in Washington on the way back. This was planned for the weekend of May 22 and 23 of 1999.
Thursday night, May 20, my wife and I had contacted my brother, Fred, and made arrangements to take a trip to the hospital to see Dad and to inform him of the fact that his eldest granddaughter would be coming back to Jersey and would be in our company on Sunday. So, on Friday, I made it through work thinking about the after hours plans that we’d made.
On Friday afternoon, after working a full eight hours and looking forward to my one-day excursion to the Sunshine State, I was pretty excited as I got off the train and headed to the rendezvous point for my brother and my wife’s arrival…needless to say, that was the last bit of positive and good excitement that I’d had!
When we arrived at the hospital, my Dad had already passed…the oddest thing, though, was that, when I confronted a nurse about my father’s status, she turned pale as a ghost…and explained what had happened. We then waited for the rest of my family to arrive at the hospital and, through the commotion and comeraderie that followed, I really don’t remember much more about THAT night…as my attention was focused on the next day’s activities.
RIP Fredrick H. Johnson, 07/08/31 – 05/21/99 … /,,,/ ROCK ON DAD, WE MISS YOU \,,,\