April 13, some friends of mine gave me an early birthday party. We had a great day. It was full of laughter, skeet shooting over the lake, great friends and good food. It was the perfect way to bring in this (hard to accept) age of 50. I felt very blessed. (Thank you friends!!)
That evening I received a phone call from my Step Mom, and then got to talk with my Dad for a bit. It wasn’t good. He sounded terrible… and so did she.
I decided to start making plans to go out to California.
Quite early the next morning, I got a phone call from one of my brothers. Dad had to be put on a respirator.
I threw stuff in a suitcase and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off. My husband knew to let me act out my hysteria, but calmly got me listed on the first BEST flight (standby) out of Atlanta. It happened to be the first one out the next morning…which wasn’t soon enough for me. He eventually got through to me that even if I got on a flight right now, I’d zig-zagged all over the country, and more than likely get stuck overnight somewhere, and that I would, in fact, arrive at the same time as if I would just wait, sleep in my own bed, and take the early morning one. So, I waited. And while I waited for dawn, I was able to get the boys lesson plans printed out, the house and animal care sheet printed, thank you notes for my party written, and a fairly good nights sleep. I was grateful that I got on that first flight and made it out to Sacramento by 10:30 AM.
I don’t even remember the flight out.
A sweet friend picked me up and had a sandwich, drink and goodies in the car already. So, it was straight to the hospital.
Got there around noon.
I won’t go into all the private details of that week. I do need to sort them out by writing them at some point. But it won’t all be on here. Just know that he knew I was there, along with my Step Mom and Step Sister and later knew that the boys (my three brothers) were also there. The first couple of days he could shake his head yes or no, lift his had in a wave, raise his eyebrows, and tear up. But by Wednesday… not so much.
This was by far the roughest week of my life. The roller coaster ride of “he can make it”, to “he’s not going to pull through this”, was so emotionally exhausting.
He ended up not making it. Saturday night the 20th, at 8:43 pm, his beautiful, kind, sweet, precious heart stopped.
All he had originally wrong with him was asthma. He did more running around, traveling and hanging out with his friends than I do. He was just fine. A very healthy 76-year-old man.
Then during a trip out to Arizona to see his sick friend, he got an upper respiratory infection, which turned into pneumonia, and then double pneumonia. While he was in the hospital for the double pneumonia, he go MRSA and more lung infections. I don’t even know all the stuff that was going on. But for a man who never smoked, to die of lung disease, is so frustrating to me.
There were many blessings along the way, and I still feel that all is going to be okay. However, I am so, so, so very sad. I miss him. I have picked up the phone to call him so many times in the last couple weeks. I just need to talk with him. That is what we did. We talked. Even before I moved so far away from him, we would get together to talk. He was not only my Daddy, but my friend. There is a big hole now… a big hole in my heart.
I flew home on my actual birthday. The 29th of April.
I just keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare.
But every day… I wake up… and it really happened. He’s really gone. Gone.
I can’t imagine how I could bear this sadness if I didn’t believe in the second coming of Jesus. I know I will see my Daddy again one day. And OH, WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY THAT WILL BE!!
So, forgive me if my posts don’t make any sense, are all about my Dad, or are on the down side for a while. I don’t like to do that, but I think it helps to write and get my thoughts out, even if I don’t feel like it. Some are too private and personal to share, but some were meant to be told! My Dad would have wanted that. He was my blogs biggest fan. He often called to talk about one of my recent posts. I will miss that.
Before I try to hit the “post” button, I will leave for you the poem that the hostess at my hotel gave me after hearing of Dads passing. We used it in the program at his service. She (along with two other ladies there) were a blessing to me that whole first week while I went from hotel to hospital.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found the peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joys–
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief –
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts, and peace to thee–
God wanted me now, He set me free.
(Thank you DeeDee.)
I miss you Daddy. Rest In Peace.