It has been a very different sort of month and a half. My father had been in the hospital for about a month. He would have days that looked like things were on the mend, then the next they were telling us it's over. This roller coaster went on all month. They just couldn't figure out what was wrong. When it came down to it there was no more they could do for him. So he was moved to the seventh floor of our local hospital, which is the "keep them as comfortable as possible" floor. I thank God he was only on that floor for a little more than 24 hours.
God's hand was in this day all the way. His last day was a very beautiful day. I went to work as always and then went to babysit my granddaughter. I had been thinking about him all day and deep in my heart I knew it was his last. That day before I left work I had gotten word that the training I was supposed to be at that night was canceled. My mother had been with him most of the day. My sister came and took her home for dinner. When I was done with my day I went to pick her up so we could go and be with him. We sat there reflecting and watching him struggle to breath. At about 8:30 P.M. the nurse came in to check his temperature and blood pressure. He slowly stopped breathing and we alerted the nurse who had turned her back for a moment. She took out her stethoscope and tried listening for his heart beat. She slowly looked up and shook her head at us and then said how sorry she was. My mother had come closer to him at that point and was saying her good bye when he started breathing again. The nurse told her he was just letting out his last breath. I called everyone and told them he had passed. The nurse left us alone to say our good byes and to let her know when he finally stopped breathing.
In the mean time God was working with us again. Fifteen minutes later the nurse returned and we told her he was still breathing. She checked his heart beat again and looked at us and said he was putting up a fight. God gave us two more hours with him. That night, at my sister's second job, there was more than just the usual two people scheduled. So she was able to leave and come to the hospital. My oldest daughter's husband had just come home from work. She had just put the baby down for the night and was able to come and be with us. A close family friend and my niece all arrived at the hospital. When they all showed up we told them he was waiting for them. He kept breathing another two hours. God had given us a little more time to let my father know how much we loved him. My sister and daughter leaned over the side of the bed and whispered "it's okay you can go now" and he took his last breaths.
At 10:16 P.M. he went to be with our Lord. He was surrounded by his loved ones. This was one of my fears, I didn't want him to die alone and he didn't.
The nurse came in and had to tell us again that he was gone. I really felt sorry for that poor nurse more than anyone. We all stayed a little longer to say our final good bye. I was the last to leave the room and I touch his hand and told him to "sleep well" and "I love you."
Of course later after we all thought about it, we came to the same conclusion...We had just changed the TV to "Toddlers in Tieras". My father heard that and probably said to himself, "if this is what we are watching, I'm outta here". I'm sorry we are a weird group. I guess this is our way of coping. It has been a hard week and little things will make me start crying. But God IS good and I will always remember my father's last day.
His memorial is this Friday. My daughter and I have put together a memory book of his life from some pictures I had laying around. Here are some pictures of the album below...
every time my daughter and I looked at this we would start crying.