My dad , Jack Davis, has always enjoyed gambling, especially craps and poker. In the last couple of weeks he had talked about all of us getting together and going to Central City or Blackhawk to gamble. They are the two cities in Colorado that allow public gambling -although there are many more restrictions than you would find, at say, Vegas.
In the last few days, however, his health has gotten so bad that he can hardly speak or walk and even with the morphine you can tell he’s still uncomfortable to say the least. But when the Hospice nurse visited the last time he stopped her on her way out and asked if she could get him a craps table. She said that she would. And they did! (Hospice has been great.)
The only thing was that they thought Dad might have to go into the hospital and so time was a huge factor. We had to do this now if we were going to do it. We also had to find a place to put a craps table. While my house is not huge, it does have the most useable space in the family right now. So, we decided to pull together a last minute casino night party at my house to honor Dad’s wishes.
It was a little stressful trying to call and email and facebook everyone to see if they could make it to a party in the middle of the work week with only one day’s notice, but it came together. I would bet we had 40-45 people in our house last night. We had great food, drinks and the younger kids loved playing outside with the chickens.
I think Dad had a great time. I hadn’t seen him so animated and involved in something as he was in that craps game in a long time. And he came out a big winner too! Many people (including me) didn’t know how to play craps and so we also had a poker group playing downstairs.
It was so special to see so many friends and family come and visit him. We asked people to write in a memory book about him and you could tell by what people wrote how special he had been to them. Some people, like the Fitzgeralds, he has known since before he knew my mom. Others he had worked with in his law practice or when he owned the lawn business. Some, like our neighbors the Sandovals, shared memories of living next door and helping to raise us kids (or growing up together). We had people who knew me like my school and work friends, but got to know Dad. People my mom had worked with met him through her. Even Britton’s friends and family have come to know and love Dad. He is just that kind of person.
It was like an episode of “This is Your Life”. And all the inter-connections were amazing. People knew each other in a round about way who we didn’t know -in this area it’s not 6 degrees of separation, it’s more like 2!
And Dad was such a connecting link like that. He was always kind to people he met and did it with such a sense of humor you couldn’t help but like him -and remember him. He always saw the potential and the good in people. I just can’t believe he will be gone soon…Much too soon.
But I am also glad we were able to throw him a last hurrah of sorts. And it was wonderful to see the outpouring of love and support from so many friends and family. Thanks to you all for making it a night that we won’t soon forget.