Thursday, August 20, 2009

Losing my dad and 3 lbs before the 100 mark!

In my last post my dad had come home from the hospital after a 6 month stay. He was home for 8 days and he passed. Needless to say this has put me on an emotional roller coaster. I am 3 lbs away from hitting 100 pounds lost and can't shake the emotional eating and smoking. I knew we didn't have that much time with him left given how weak and sick he was but I didn't expect the phone call that morning of July 23rd. My dad had become increasingly weak and my mom was having a difficult time getting him back and forth to dialysis every other day. I had stayed the weekend before and came by that Wednesday night to talk to my dad because the case worker was questioning my mom's ability to care for him. God, how I wish I hadn't had that conversation with my dad know, you go through all the what if's in your head, what you should have said, what you did say, what you didn't say. I told him we needed him not to give up, to push because they were questioning mom and we were scared they were going to put him in a nursing home. He said "Don't say that" Did I push him to give up??? I will always wonder that and I have my moments where I feel overwhelming guilt for that. That wasn't my intention. He also didn't want me to leave and I told him I had to go to work the next day, that I loved him and I put my forehead to his and told him to trust God. That is the last correspondence I had with my dad until my daughter called me at 7:39 the next morning to say, "Mom hurry papa's gone!" I felt my world stop. The only good in all of this is that #1 My dad is no longer in pain and he is in heaven where there is only happy tears and no more suffering, #2 God answered every prayer we had asked over the past 6- 7 months. After my dad was in a coma for a few months, the doctors had no hope for him to really walk again because his feet had dropped, after the trache was placed, the doctors said he was too dependent on the ventilator and would probably always be on a feeding tube and never talk again. We asked God for a healing or to not let him die in this shape in a hospital, to bring him home. My dad walked, my dad talked, my dad ate food and my dad came home. My dad was also afraid to die, he was scared to leave us and he was afraid it was going to hurt. I promised my dad that when it was his time to go, he wouldn't be scared that God would come get him. He died peacefully in his sleep, no gasping for air, nothing, just peacefully. God helped me keep my promise to my dad, he wasn't scared. He was a true miracle and even through the pain God's grace showed. He was way too young to leave this world but his quality of life here on earth wasn't what he would want to live and I know he is better off where he is at now.

8/29/1948 - 7/23/2009

God saw him getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around him,
and whispered, "Come to me".
A long battle and a fight he did give,
until God called him home for eternity to live

Though our hearts ache and miss him everyday
I could not wish him back
To suffer through that again.
For when I saw him sleeping that Thursday morn,
I could see he was at peace and free from pain evermore.
Now he is seeing his loved ones,
worshipping Jesus and cracking jokes,
perhaps tomorrow he'll find a fishing hole
and sip on an 8 pack of little Cokes.


Jil said...

My heart aches for you and your family...but as you said, he is in a better place and the pain can't touch him anymore. God be with you all.


Jill said...

I am so sorry about your Dad. I think the las=t coversations are tough for everyone... forever you could wonder... but please think that now he knows all of the words you wish you could have said and he's okay with it. He knows you love him.

Teresa said...

Thank you

Amy M said...

Teresa, I am sorry for your loss.

While reading your post, it struck me that right there in the middle of chastising yourself with the if's, that you actually spoke of a tremendous gift that you gave to both your father and yourself:

"I told him...that I loved him and I put my forehead to his and told him to trust God."

How lucky you are to have been able to express your love and faith to you father literally just hours before he passed. I have in my mind’s eye, a beautiful picture of you and your father, leaning close together with foreheads touching. In this image there is a soft gentle light surrounding you. Be thankful for the grace embodied in that moment.

I would give-away all of my earthly possessions for an opportunity to have told my father anything within 12 hours of his death. I was 11 years old when he died. He had brain cancer, and in 1980, when he was first diagnosed after suffering a stroke, the treatment entailed radical surgery that resulted in a significant loss of cognitive function. It was about 18 months from diagnosis to death and even though we utilized counseling, activities, etc. offered hospice, it was not a "good death". I sometimes wonder if with the advancement of medical technology, someone with his type of cancer would have a better life expectancy and improved quality of life. For our 18 months, at times he was at home where hospice nurses would visit daily, other times he was simply a patient on a regular hospital unit, and sometimes he was at a hospice care facility. When he was at the hospice facility, we spent a lot of time there, even cooking meals in their small family lounge that had a tiny kitchen (That's one tradition I continue...we eat dinner together every night), but only my Mother stayed overnights. My sister and I stayed at home with our grandparents who had "moved in" for the final weeks.

Fathers, especially good ones, like ours, are important figures in the lives of their female children. I'm sorry that you've joined the club, I loathe welcoming new members.


Amy (aka Maxs_Mom from OH)

Teresa said...

Thank you Amy!