From the time I was a very little girl, I had heard stories of what a terrific dancer my Dad was. My Mother and my aunt used to say that he was as good a dancer as the famous dancer Fred Astaire. But throughout my growing up years I had never seen him dance with my mother or anyone else. He would just smile when someone said something about his skills on the dance floor
For my mother, I think his skills were often spoiled by his excessive drinking when they were courting all those years ago so their dancing stopped.
When my dad called and told us he would be going into the clinic for lung cancer surgery, the four of us kids headed back to Illinois to spend a couple days with him before making the road trip down to the Carl Clinic at Champaign- Urbana Ill.
That Sunday after dinner someone had put on some fun music and my dad started dancing around the house, I got up and we started to dance together. He was very light on his feet and had some crazy fun moves. We all were laughing and having a good time and then I noticed how tired and worn out he was but he kept dancing with me, on some level I think we both knew this would be our last dance together.
The next day we all drove down to Champaign-Urbana to the Carl clinic, got him all settled in his room and we sat around laughing
and talking and just enjoying being together as a family once more. In the morning he went in for his surgery and when they began his surgery they realized the lung cancer was much worse than they had anticipated and the prognosis not very good.
He was able to visit for a bit after surgery but then he went into a coma and never recovered. He died a short time later and I will always be grateful for that one and only last dance with Daddy.
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