I'll try to get through this without breaking down. It's still kind of chilling to think about.
Around the time I was 19 I was deployed to Iraq. My unit worked with bombs, and honestly, I didn't know I would make it home intact. About halfway through my tour the red cross notified my unit that my father was terminally ill. Within a week I was on a plane back to the states.
Now my dad being ill was something I had grown used to. He was strong though, and I never expected to actually lose him. I lost my mother when I was 7, and my father's lungs had collapsed shortly before then. He was on oxygen and needed a wheelchair to go anywhere. Medication by the handfuls were needed every few hours. He gained weight from limited movement, developed diabetes, and had already beaten cancer once. I never expected to lose him and he wasn't the type to ever give up.
I arrive home, head to the hospital, and he assures me he's fine and they're overreacting. I visit him every day I'm there, but he tells me he'll be fine by the time I get home "for good".
I reluctantly go back overseas. I call his hospital whenever I have a few minutes of free time and we're near a call center. My deployment finishes, and he kept his promise. He comes home from the hospital, because he says he doesn't want to die there. He gets worse, and goes back. The family all visits, but we know he isn't improving.
One day I'm at home and the phone rings. It's an unknown number, so I don't answer. It goes to the answering machine, and a very raspy voice mumbles "Call the hospital." It's my dad. I grab the phone, but he already hung up.
So I call. They tell me he's been intubated for the past couple hours and he just started going into cardiac arrest. He's non responsive, and we need to come say our goodbyes. I argue that he just called me, and she says that's not possible. They've been working on him for some time now.
I hung up and told my family the news. My sister and I stared at the answering machine. We played the tape again, and again.
That was the last time I heard my father's voice. I'm a skeptic. I don't believe in the paranormal or ghosts, and I cannot come up with any logical explanation. I still get watery eyed thinking about it.