It was ten o'clock when the doctor appeared. Just over an hour. My throat tightened. It seemed too soon. The doctor's eyes were heavy as he looked down at the four of us, concentrating mainly on me.
"I'm sorry," he said. "We lost him on the table. His heart just gave out."
My mother put her head into her lap. She made long wailing sounds and rocked back and forth in her chair. Angelo jumped up, his hands over his face. "Oh God, Oh God," he kept saying. Carman stayed seated, his face hard and staring. I sat silently. I don't remember how long we stayed, but as we left I noticed the bright rush of clean winter air and the greasy fragrance of lunchtime on the streets.
When the news got out, our phones both at home and the office were constantly ringing. It was too much for my mother, so I listened to a steady stream of sympathetic and shocked voices ask me what happened. I really didn't know. Between phone calls and making funeral arrangements, the next couple days kept me busy, but I did make a call to the hospital to check in on Reggie.
The funeral gave me the first of many insights I would now have about my father, the kind of man he was. A man who lived both his business and private life governed by loyalty, honesty and respect. It showed on that sharply cold day. Snow had fallen the night before, as it had the night before my father's death. But that didn't stop over two hundred people from paying their respects.
There were hundreds of cards, countless flower arrangements, and many tear-filled faces that seem to blur together today, though a few still stick out in my mind.
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