Sunday, July 18, 2010
Tues July 6, 2010, I got a phone call from my mom, dad wasn't doing well. I was home in Thunder Bay the next afternoon. By the time I arrived dad was pretty much in a coma, opening his eyes only occasionally, or moving his eyebrows in acknowledgement that he was hearing. That was just the beginning......from that time forward we didn't leave dad's side, taking shifts, eating meals in his room, staying late until midnight or after, before being assured it was ok to go home for a couple of hours of sleep.
One thing that touched me deeply was that EVERY day before each caregivers shift ended, & they were on there way home, they would come in & give dad a hug & a kiss, then go & hug my mom, or sometimes us kids. They were saying good bye, just in case.
Sun July 11 2010, mom & I decided we weren't leaving dad's side. I sat awake all night at his bedside holding his hand or rubbing his neck, mom did the same, except for the couple of hrs. she managed to fall asleep.
It was strange sitting there in the dark with dad, but I wasn't afraid. At one point I thought I saw him move his head toward me, I jumped up to look closer, but he was still in the same position, looking at the ceiling....wishful thinking I guess.
At 6 am the sun came up & the birds started chirping, I told dad it was for him :)) Mom left at 6:30 to go home for a shower, I stayed alone with dad. In that time alone I played all dad's favourite music & sang to him! Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Rodger Whittaker! I apologized to dad for my horrible voice, but he didn't mind :)) I finally got up enough courage to play "our" song, "The Wind Beneath My Wings", up until then I wouldn't let anyone put it on...I wasn't ready to say goodbye. I was now ready, I told him it was ok, he could go...
That same day, Mon. July 12, 2010, my sister Debra finally was able to make it into town, our family was now all together. The room was full of family, mom, us kids, grandchildren, dad's brother & sister.
At about 10pm. everyone left for the night, everyone except me, Debra & my sister in law Wendy. Mom knew dad's time was near but she had said her goodbyes, many many times....
The 3 of us sat around talking , laughing, holding dads hands....at one point we were distracted for a moment by a particularly funny conversation, & when we looked back dad wasn't breathing....it was 10:45 pm.
Debra ran for the nurse while I sat beside him, with his head in my hands, telling him it was ok, he still had a faint pulse, then he took a final breath of air & he was gone.
Dad died on his own terms, just like he had done everything else in his life, he waited 6 days for Debra to be there. We were told 4 times...yes, 4 times, that he was about to die....stubborn dad, fooled them all didn't you!
So now we go on, trying to get back into life & routine, it is hard. There is always a sadness lurking in my heart now, dad is always on my mind. I know it will take time, everything gets better with time, but god it is hard to loose a parent. If you still have yours, cherish them, life is short but good, enjoy it.
Dad's Birthday party this year...Thurs March 19, 2010, 81 years......
Posted by onecollie at 12:31 PM