Thursday, September 20, 2012

That day

I woke up, answered my phone to the generic hospital number. Not good! A doctor with a thick accent told me there was not much more that could be done and that they would like the next if kin to please come to the hospital.

That wasn't a huge surprise. For the two weeks preceding this phone call there were signs that my dad would not be going back home. It looked like now would be the time to jump in the car alone for the two and a half hour ride to be with my dad for the end.

I fought the wave of nausea as I headed down his hall and entered his room. I greeted him and kissed him. His eyes opened to tiny slits for a brief moment. He knew I had arrived.

For the next several hours I sat with him. Held his hand. Told him stories of the day and of the kids. One point in that he fluttered. An acknowledgement of awareness. The last I would ever receive. And it was about his grandbabies. A perfect gift.

The clock dragged around and around the circles. Doctors, nurses, hospital chaplains and grief counselors all came in to talk to me.

Nothing more we can do. Won't be going home. Does he have a dnr? What would he want done ?

My mind was swimming. My head still bald from my own chemotherapy treatments. I guess he would want to be comfortable at this point. We never talked about that. With men of that generation there was a lot you didn't talk about.

I decided on palliative care. Basically in hospital hospice. I've never had a longer walk than the one behind his stretcher, holding his meager bag of belongings; headed to a room that would be his last stop on earth.

The new nurse oriented me to the new floor. The floor people go to die. She got him an oxygen mask to keep him from struggling to get air. She showed me the pull out bed and the shower room and the remote for the tv. And then she left.

I sat for a good hour telling my dad all kinds of stuff. Stories. Memories. Fears. Bible verses. I held his hand. Stroked his hair.

My aunt called from the car. She and my uncle were on their way. I needed to talk to her. Cry. Be afraid. It was scary being alone in that room. What would death look like? What if he needed something I couldn't do for him? How could he leave me?

As I hung up the phone with her and took his hand I realized his breathing was different. I took a moment to kiss him. To tell him to run to Jesus and that he was waiting for him. I assured him I would be ok. I hit the nurse call button and realized it was just the oxygen machine working, not my dad.

There I stood totally alone for the next two minutes until the nurse joined me. I know God was there and within minutes God would provide my sweet friend Sarah to hug me and sit for the next hour until I was ready to leave that death room.


It's been a long hard year. I miss my
Mom and dad. There is so much I want to catch them up on. I still have bad dreams about that day at the hospital. September 20,2011.

Jesus has been gracious over and over again. But today I'm sad. And wishing I still could hug my mommy and daddy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Go Figure

Steve had a chance to golf with some good friends this afternoon.  Because I knew I had the *opportunity* to hold down the fort for the evening, we made a quick trip to the library after school.  By the way, I've become a total library addict after this summer.  We were there easily three times a week all summer long.  We rocked the summer reading program and have rented nearly every movie from the kids section.  But I digress.

The kids were each allowed to pick out a few books and a movie to be viewed through out the weekend. 

They've really been into Star Wars this summer.  (The originals, not the new ones.  Because I'm a purist like that!)  With that said, Quinn picked out Narnia for tonight.  I know it's a bit of a mature movie with some more mature themes.  I figured since they can deal with Darth Vader being Luke's father, they could handle a half fawn-half man.

Boy was I wrong!  Within 5 minutes of the movie starting, Quinn was under the couch cushions.  Turner had his ears covered.  They both asked me annoying, frustrating and redundant questions... for the next HOUR.  Finally, in the middle of an actual anxiety attack (mine, not theirs) I had a conversation with myself:

"Hey, wait a minute... I'm the adult here!  What the heck are we doing?  Just because I want them to love this movie, perhaps now is not the time."  Although Olivia was enjoying it and threw a bit of a fit when I turned it off, I realized sometimes you just gotta be the mama.

Who knew that Storm Troopers, light sabers and Sand People would be less frightening than talking beavers.  Oh well, live and learn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smiles all around

It's official!  Mama's on break.  Whew.
I made it.  Honestly, we had an amazing summer.  Maybe one of my best ever.   But the past two and a half weeks with Olivia in school and the boys home, its been rough.  Really, really rough.  So now I can go to the grocery, a little lighter.  Two people lighter, actually.
Maybe I should feel guilty for being this giddy.  I enjoy my kids.  For real.  It's just that we could all use a break from each other. 
Turner and Quinn are in their second year of pre-school and are practically pro's.  Olivia is loving first grade and doing well.  And me?  I do believe the crazy eyes tell it all :)