Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts about Dad Part 2

Monday, January 22, was a more difficult night than the night Dad actually passed. My brother had called saying that he had taken a down turn, and that if there was anything we wanted to say, we should say it now. I called my husband in an emotional frenzy and choked out the message to him. He cleared his schedule for the remainder of the week and came home.

All four of us talked to him, including my youngest daughter, who previously had not wanted to talk to him. Understandable, she is only 6 and cannot fully grasp the emotion of the situation. Not that any of us can, really, but something so permanent has to be a big thing for such a mind to wrap around at that age. Her words to Dad were epic. "I'm sorry you're going to die Grandpa, and I love you so much." Same with my older daughter. By the time the phone got to me I wasn't sure I could speak. He's only been my Dad for 17 years, but that is a lifetime for me. I thanked him for choosing to be my dad. He couldn't speak, his breathing was so labored at this point he could only listen. Then my husband, who finally let out what he had been holding back. My turn to support him.

My older daughter and I had originally planned on going out that weekend to see Dad and help Mom. I realized that I needed to get out there sooner. Everyone juggled their schedules and I left Wednesday, the 24th, with Bret and Allison leaving Thursday, and Sam staying home with Nanas.

It was the longest day. The entire flight I had a sick feeling in my stomach. My stop over in Detroit was (naturally) delayed, and instead of getting in at 7 I got in just before 9. Andy picked me up. I could see the stress on his face, and he was clearly distracted. He had been in Maryland since Dad's retirement party the previous Thursday, and decided to stay rather than go home. I'm so grateful he was there with Mom.

We got to the house, and I went upstairs to see him. Katie was all ready there too, down from Boston. We had both changed our flights. Mom moved so I could sit next to him. I took his hand. It was so limp and cold! I wasn't sure if he knew I was there, but I rubbed his hand and told him I was here, and that it didn't take an 18 hour layover like last time. Told him that Bret and Allison would be there the next day, just made small talk. I didn't know if he could hear me or not, until he managed to give my hand a little squeeze. It was weak, but he did it. He knew I was there. I went back downstairs to call Bret and tell him I had made it. Then we three kids were downstairs talking and flipping through the scrapbook I had made. It wasn't even a half hour later when Mom came down and told us he was gone. 9:42pm. We all went back upstairs.

You know, I'm currently reading a book about energy and the spirit. I've always believed that everything around us is energy, including our own energy. I know for a fact it is true now, because all that remained was a body that belonged to my Dad. I could feel, in just that short amount of time from when I first arrived, he had left. The body that was him remained, but I just knew it wasn't him any longer. Mom, Katie, Andy and I sat up there waiting for the nurse to return our call, talking and crying in waves. We were happy it went peacefully and painlessly. And honestly, quickly.

We all agreed on one thing- Dad waited for me to get there. Whether he was waiting for me specifically, or waiting so we could all be together, or be there for Mom- he had waited. I'll be forever thankful to you Dad for that, for that one extra moment I never expected to have.

Need to stop now, I will continue later.
(Thoughts About Dad Part 1)