Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh Blah Dee

Life Goes On. One can get lost in the busy-ness of taking care of things.

I finally took down and put away all our Christmas decor today. I am going to pick up some clothes from a couple people to donate to a family that needs them. I am going to put up my inventory from Sweet Baby Sugar and work on a business plan to see if I want to continue.

Its time to go through all the kids clothes and toys get stuff ready for consignment. I also have a few things for Craig's list.

I actually thought this morning "I need to call Dad", and then remembered he is gone....and that I had I cancelled his phone yesterday. I also need to go through some more of his things for donation and get together with my sister to go through all the stuff at her house.

Thank goodness we have each other........and Thank you God that I am so blessed to have people to take care of and a house and so many things to keep up with. Thank you God also for the many friends and family who prayed, brought me food and watched Sarah. As my Dad stated towards the end "God you have been so good to me. You just keep bringing good people to my life".

I have had quite the productive morning, my living room is beginning to look like a room for living instead of storage!

Life goes on.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Its just stuff.......

But its so hard to give away. My sister and I have already moved everything out of dad's place and I made a donation today to St Vincent De Paul Society with some housewares and some clothes. It was so hard to go through and bag it up....I still have a couple shirts just so I can smell dad for a while....but what am I smelling Afta and his laundry detergent? Heck I can just buy Afta to keep to remind me of dad.

We do have our mementos that we will keep, its just so hard to give the "stuff" away. But its perfectly good stuff and times are hard and someone will benefit from it. I really hate this, but I don't want to put it off this time. I have been through it with my sister, my mom, Caleb and my brother. With Mary Beth and Mom, it was a VERY slow process. Then again my mom was a clothes horse and I can't tell you how many bags of stuff we gave away, but it was such a painful loss that we would do a little and then go back a few months later and do more.

With Caleb, I was so grieved that I literally put everything we had for him in the nursery and shut the door. I tried several times to go in and pack away, but couldn't do it. We didn't clean the room out until Sarah was on the way and close to being it was like 2 years.

With dad though its different. Maybe the whole seeing him go experience has given me peace and put in perspective that the stuff he left behind is just stuff. He is in such a better place and doesn't need all the stuff. There is no doubt in my mind witnessing his faith in the end and hearing him pray that he is in heaven....which makes me smile.

My sister gave me a wonderful visual today from Titanic, I know sappy, but this scene makes me cry every time and I can now think of it with Dad. When Rose is old and dies, she "wakes up" and walks back into the Titanic young and surrounded by those who loved her and whom have already left. Everyone is so happy to see her......see, I am teared up just thinking about it. I am sure that Dad stopped breathing and stood up and was greeted by those whom have already left and they were so happy he made it.

Enough sap for today....I have more stuff to go through and you know am glad its not so painful this time to let it go.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Sarah.....

Two years ago today Sarah Catherine was baptized. It was a very cold and windy day, but clear. I think we should have done it earlier in the day as towards the end of the ceremony she was darn cranky! She was baptized at my church by Deacon Tom in the chapel....which is the same chapel that our church holds Adoration. I have cupcakes for our birthday celebration and I will break out her baptismal candle.
What a gift to receive God's grace through baptism. I was researching the 23rd Psalm and came across a blog that reflected upon "My Cup Overflows". God gives us His grace at baptism, and he doesn't just give us what we need, he gives us so much it overflows out of us. We ALWAYS have more than enough. I remember in school Fr Lopez describing Grace as "God Power".

I am so glad that Sarah was baptized and that we were surrounded with family and friends. It was truly a beautiful day. Sarah will never be alone so long as she has her faith. I don't know what I would have done without it having just lost my father. I hope I can be as good of an example to faith as Daddy was.
Happy Birthday Sarah, hope you are enjoying your New Life in Christ!

Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Matthew 28: 18-20
NOTE: to my followers, next week we will go back to our normal wednesday format.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rest in Peace

My dad is at peace which feels good. I miss him so much though. Thank you all for your prayers and support....there is so much I want to say, but I am still processing the whole experience.

I am OK, just VERY tired. I am still not sleeping at night. The Tylenol PM helps, but doesn't seem to give me long sleep, I am up alot. There are so many little reminders of dad, I cry easily.

Thanks for your prayers, please keep them coming. I am so tired and a little depressed that I have no energy to clean up. Our house is a wreck which I know is on my husband's nerves.

I need some time to process and come to terms with what happened since Christmas. I need to get a routine back on track for Sarah so I can get some stuff done and do some things for myself.

We are almost done with cleaning out Dad's place, which has been incredibly emotional the past 2 days. He was so happy at St George Village in Roswell, and apparently when he walked the halls, he walked ALL the halls - every floor in independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. The women at the front desk told us everyone there had been asking about him and misses him. We didn't know, but he would go visit a couple people up in skilled nursing who used to live in the assisted living wing.

You know when I think about dad's funeral at the cemetery and them handing us a flag and saying "On behalf of the President of the United States and the Chief of Naval Operations, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's service to this Country and a grateful Navy " I just tear up and start crying. Dad loved his days at Emory and UNC in Officer Training. WWII war ended while he was training at Emory and he was called into service during the Korean war, which lucky dad was assigned to the Naval Station in New Orleans. He told us how everyone loved to see him as he was the paymaster. It really hit me when they handed over the flag dad is gone from this life.

Again, thanks for your prayers. May dad rest in peace and I hope that I can find some rest myself.

Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Funeral Planner

Being the 4th funeral in my immediate family, 5 counting Caleb and 6 counting Gwen dad's second wife who died I guess about 9 years ago, we have gotten to be quite the professionals at planning a funeral. My dad God bless him, had preplanned everything, he had gone to the funeral home with me years ago to get an itemized quote, so my sister basically walked in and said "here's what he wanted". Dad knew when you lose someone and are grieving your mind is not sharp, so he wanted to make things easy for us.....he also gave us an obituary.

There is much to do planning a funeral, you have the physical things you need for burial and the logistics of all the events. We are having a visitation and Rosary the night before the funeral. Dad wanted open casket, I guess he knows that when you see the body it sinks in the person is gone. This might freak out some people, but I like open also, though I have decided to get cremated when its my time.

We wanted a priest who knew dad and our family to perform the burial mass, so we had to coordinate his schedule with the church and the funeral home. We had to get all the paperwork filled out with the funeral home....this took FOREVER, and go to the cemetery to physically confirm the plot location. Dad will be buried next to Mom and next to my sister Mary Beth. Caleb is between them right now, so he will also be next to my little man. Our family plot is down the hill from where all the priests are buried, so we have many friends up on the top of the hill also.

Then there is the music and readings to plan. have to confirm all this with who will be doing the music and programs if you have them. You also talk with the person doing the service about the deceased and the readings, so they can plan out what to say. You also have to find readers, which I THINK I want to do one at the service for dad. And there is the music at the cemetery IF you so choose - I need to call the bagpipe dude tomorrow.....this is totally for me!

You need to write and submit the obituary, which is also involves deciding what day to have it in the paper and there are deadlines to meet.

You don't HAVE to have pall bearers - the funeral home can handle this task, but its always nice to have friends or family escort the deceased into church one last time. This is the one thing I need to do.

And of course there are the phone calls for people you think need to know, but might not read the paper, and rehashing the story of what happened.

If you are going to gather after everything, there is the planning of that also......where, what to eat/drink etc etc etc. If you have a toddler or baby, you have to figure out what to do with them.

I tell you it will wear you out!

We have everything planned......Wednesday evening and Thursday. Thanks Dad for helping out beforehand and making some of the planning seamless with NO decisions to make. I am sure Dad will be smiling down on us as we take him to mass one last time....though where he is, he sure doesn't miss Mass. I still can't believe he is gone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jesus Wept

With much sorrow in my heart, I am announcing the passing of my daddy about an hour or so ago. I will miss him so much. Dad was 82 and his health had declined the past year, I was going to get him a walker when we got back from California which saddened me as dad loved to walk. He died peacefully in the hospice room, he stopped breathing.

John 11:25-26
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

I do believe that my father has gone on to heaven and he lives among the angels and saints. He had the sacrament of the sick and reconciliation when first admitted to the hospital over 3 weeks ago. He prayed so much while he was in the hospital and was a man of faith. He asked repeatedly about a light in his room in the corner, which we did not see.

I saw him today with my sister. We played some of his favorite songs. We prayed the rosary...the Sorrowful Mysteries. I got chills saying Into Your Hands I commend my spirit.

I can hear Fr Kenny now saying what a grand reception and celebration Dad is having. Its ok for me to cry even though I know he has gone on to much greater things. It is sad to think I will never get another kiss from my dad or see his beautiful smile.

Jesus wept when he heard of the death of his friend Lazurus so I am in good company.

Thank you for your prayers, please pray for the repose of my Dad's soul to heaven and for my sister and I. Our family of 6 is now down to 2.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Spirit Rejoices

Artwork Raphael's "Madonna of the Chair"........... My dad has this hanging in his room at the hospice. The picture he has was his mother's and it has hung in his house and condo. When I brought it in, he immediately said "Madonna of the Chair". I am so glad I took it as the image of puggy chunky legged baby Jesus gives me comfort and says "HOME" to me.

All it takes is one smile from dad to lift me up. I got a GREAT smile this morning, a big one, even with his eyes. But that is about it, it has gotten to the point where I cannot understand a word he is saying. He does nod sometimes and will point to his mouth for ice or lip balm.

I spent a little over an hour with him around lunch with Jill. We prayed the rosary....Jill said he was smiling at one point while we were praying over him. I also prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet asking God to grant him mercy and peace and joy. He looked very comfortable and we had no shaking or grimacing or any signs of frustration or discomfort. His hospice nurse told us that they were seeing signs the end is coming....physical signs like less urine out put......much less restlessness.

I was talking to Lyn today about how sad it will be for me when he is gone as he has always been so complementary to me about looking dad I look like mom. He told me every time I saw him that I was beautiful, or pretty or my hair looked nice.......which no one else will ever pick up that slack I am sure. Its funny, I hear Andy tell Sarah so much how cute she is and wonder if it will continue throughout her life - and would be nice if he picked up the slack, but I can't expect him to be my Dad. Its sad to think I can no longer understand what dad wants to say and I know its frustrating to dad to not be able to speak.

I went back to the hospital tonight and he was alone in his room asleep with the music playing. He loves his music. I downloaded some religious music from "The Priests" and burned a CD....hopefully he will get to hear it with me tomorrow. Tonight was a kind of sad visit. Dad didn't look as comfortable, he was kind of slumped and at one point tried to take down the blankets but he is so weak his arms started to shake then his whole body did. But he held my hand and drifted off. He didn't stir when I kissed him goodnight and tucked him in.

Some angels gave us a delish dinner and it was wonderful to not have to worry about making something as I am really feeling exhausted lately. I came home from the hospital to a bathed little girl who loved hearing me read to her and went right to bed.

God, I am going to miss my daddy.

Luke 1:46-47
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Same old same old

Visited dad 2 times day....once while Sarah was a school and once with Sarah.

This morning after I walked in his room, I just lost it. He is so weak, he is just kind of slumped down on the bed and was leaning up against the bed rail.....I guess he is still trying to get out of bed, but so weak its physically impossible. He was very agitated the past couple days and the only thing that will now relax him is morphine, which knocks him out, so much, but seeing him agitated...trying to get up knowing that we can't help him is heart wrenching. I hadn't seen him smile in 2 days since he is now mostly in a medicated haze.....but my sister asked him to give us a smile and he did...though it was so weak. We prayed the rosary and also had communion...he had a TINY piece of the host and I just kept putting a little bit of water in his mouth to help dissolve. He was out of it, but when the Eucharistic Minister who visited asked him if he wanted communion, he he does know what is going on. I am glad in my visit this morning I was able to pull it together as I probably cried straight for 10 minutes. It helped alot when Jill got there also.

His vitals are still stable....all those years of walking for exercise so the Hospice nurse told us it will probably be days before he goes...though he could go at any time. He does reach up as if reaching out to heaven, so perhaps he is seeing things to come. The nurse also told me she went through a similar experience with her dad being the mom of a little one, so it really helped me to talk to her today. I am pulled at being with dad and being with Sarah.

I decided after picking up Sarah at school I would go back to see dad with her. It was a lovely visit. She quietly sat on my lap and said "poppa". I told her poppa was sick and sleeping and she said "Yes". She held his hand for a couple minutes with me and gave him a kiss. I asked dad to give Sarah one of his beautiful smiles and he did, though so weak, but it was there. The chaplain walked in when I was with Sarah and we prayed together. After Sarah started to get a little antsy we had to leave and she said "bye bye poppa"....very loudly....he acknowledge we were there by opening his eyes.

I can't go back tonight so I will go tomorrow. Please keep us in your prayers......I don't want to spend my last minutes with dad in complete hysterical helps me to pray the rosary.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No news

not necessarily good news....Dad is so out of it. He was getting so agitated they put him on morphine. I am not sure he knew I was there today...though we prayed the rosary, read the daily readings and I did a ton of prayers. He only nodded yes to one of my questions, so its really hard to see him like this. He is literally disapearing before our eyes, which is not easy.

I never could imagine how hard it is to see someone die like this.

Please pray for him for a peaceful death. Also pray that I can forget easily the thin shell of a man he is become and remember his for what he was.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just another manic monday

No, not a post about the Bangles.....

Dad is the same, he is actually stable meaning his vitals are not changing. Its getting harder and harder to see him. He wants to get up and get out of bed and is so weak he can't sit up by himself. He gets a scowl on his face when Jill and I tell him we can't help him get up or that he can't get out of bed. He puts his hand on his forehead, which is a physical indication of his frustration.

He hasn't been on very much medication, but they are trying to work with his anxiety. He will take off all the blankets and pillows off the bed and throw them on the floor. He will also take off his hospital gown......nothing like seeing dad naked. But apparently this behavior is not uncommon for those about to pass. His condition is terminal and hasn't resolved itself and his body had stopped absorbing the nutrition, so its just a matter of time.

Because he is stable, it could be days left....of course they can't tell us when he will go and its difficult seeing him withering away physically.

This is getting so incredibly hard. We go to the hospital every day and he is more and more out of it. Can't really understand but about 5% of what he says. My routine is so off as I work around getting someone to watch Sarah so I can go see him.......and with the seizure on Saturday poor Sarah's has NO routine and is very clingy. When we pulled up to the hospital today, Andy was dropping me off, she said "Poppa". Its so hard. I am tired and I hate seeing Dad that way. I know he is miserable or would be miserable if he had more wits about him.

Most days I feel like I can't really process all this as I take care of Sarah, go see dad, and then come home and take care of her. With her clinging its hard to get some ME with that seizure the past 2 nights she has slept with me, which will be changing tonight. I need to figure out something I can do for myself that is normal and just for me.

I do realize this time is a gift, being able to forgive each other and tell dad how much I love him and thank him for all the things he taught me. Its much different than having someone just pass away quickly which is what happened with Mom and my brother Jack. My sister was sick, and was getting better, but also quickly took a turn for the worse suddenly. In those losses, you regret all the things you didn't say or do - so with Dad its a blessing we have been able to realize the end is coming and get closure or forgiveness or whatever we needed. It was also very nice Saturday that Dad, Jill and I got communion together and there have been some pretty amazing moments in that room.....but right now, I am wiped.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hello 911

I have called 911 2 times in my life....the first when I was living with dad after I gradated Tech. It was around 11 and I heard breaking glass coming from my neighbor's house.....who was out of town. I looked out our window and saw some people in her house, so I called. This morning something far scarier prompted a call.

It was about 6am and I was awake and heard Sarah whimpering. Andy also up, asked if I wanted to just bring her into our bed. Needing a nice cuddle from my little girl, I said yes. I heard him scream with such fear in his voice...."Sarah......Sarah wake up.....". He brought her in our room and told me she looked like she was having a seizure and she was breathing, but just barely. I called 911, which took me 4 times to dial. The paramedics got to our house in less than 10minutes...and before they arrived Sarah had started crying which was a good sign. She had a febrile seizure was the diagnosis in the ER - which we haven't had before. They also found out she has a UTI. She is doing OK now.

When I heard Andy's voice telling Sarah to wake up, it was the scariest thing I have heard. I actually thought, Please God, I can't lose my Dad and Daughter on the same day. Seeing Sarah limp and foaming at the mouth, not so great, but then again I missed the convulsing and eyes rolling back in her head how Andy found her.

I could say its not my week, but you know.....she is fine, we have her on antibiotics now to fight the infection causing the sudden fever and no long term damage done. But man, was I scared. Sarah on the other hand has loved the Curious George Marathon going on at our house.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Ice Cream and Popsicles

Today they let dad eat a Popsicle and have some bites of ice cream - he hasn't eaten anything in over 2 weeks.....he was SO happy. He kept saying, "this is so good ...what is it"..answer: Cherry Popsicle. Its kind of sad as he was almost like a baby bird to that spoon and I can't imagine what its like for him. The doctor said he is sleeping most of the time now, which is a sign of the end. It could be tomorrow or a few days. Dad looks gaunt and thin. I hope I didn't give him too much stuff as if he gets sick it will be very painful and could cause the end to come....which I just want to avoid any pain at this point

He received communion this morning which I am sure made him happy, but when I asked him about it he didn't remember. He slept over half the time I was with him today, when awake he starts asking for stuff he can't have or get up and go for a walk, or go potty. Its hard to leave as he has no concept of saying goodbye....he kept asking me to get him Boost, or Iced Tea or Milk or Coffee. He seemed to get a little sad when I said I had to leave and take care of Sarah. But it was nice to see how happy he was today with that Popsicle....I actually broke it into small pieces and fed it to him. He also loved that ice cream...."Mmm, this is SO good".

I am taking a break tonight. We are going to eat with the neighbors. I am exhausted and emotionally very tired. My sister met with the funeral home today to go over dad's wishes which he had pre-planned and picked out. She is also very worn down. Please keep praying for us.

Someone from St Thomas stopped by and left dad a homemade card from I am guessing a Sunday school class. Its cute and has the following verse on of my favorites...

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday Update

Wow the days are flying dad has now been in the hospital for 2 weeks . Then again, it seems like ages ago we were in California with Andy's family for the holidays receiving the news that dad had been admitted to the hospital.

The hospice contact told my sister today the end is near....probably within the next day, maybe 2 days. Dad had a burst of energy yesterday...he was talking, singing more than he has been. When In the Mood Came on the tape player, I got up and grabbed his hand and asked him "shall we dance", and he just moved my hand in time with the music as if we were jitterbugging or shagging. I was dancing, him in bed.

Today, different story. Pretty much just sleeping with loud breathing. The few times he did try to talk, I couldn't understand him. He is so weak and small.....his body is so tiny and frail. I asked him if he knew he was leaving us and he smiled and nodded. I told him again I loved him and thanked him for so many fun times. I told him its OK to go. Now that I think about it, yesterday he was pointing to the corner asking me "what's that light?" which could be him seeing the end coming or delusions, I will let you decide. I prayed the Rosary to dad today and when I quoted "Into your hands I commend my spirit" made me feel good. I know dad's ready and has faith. I will miss our trips to Publix but as Fr Lopez emailed me, "we just have to believe the reception is so much better than the send off".

Mark 5:34
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Great Pic VJ Day

Taken Aug 15th 1945 at Emory University in my dad's dorm.
Dad was in officer training school for the Navy at the time, he was 19. This picture was taken on Victory Over Japan Day, meaning WWII was over. Dad's whole dorm was guys in the service training to be officers and he told us they were SO happy as many had lost brothers and friends. Dad is on the top left leaning over the rail with his arm out. I have always loved this picture. Shortly after the end of the war, they disbanded the unit at Emory and dad was transferred to UNC Chapel Hill his beloved alma mater. Click on the picture for a larger view. Dad was such a cute young man!
His status today is the same, comfortable. The swelling has gone down and he seemed content. Its hard leaving him, but he smiled at me and told me how blessed he is to have me as his daughter and how happy I have made him. I cried. He also said a prayer for me, which I couldn't quite understand, but at the end he gave me a big smile. I left him listening to a "100 Strings" cassette tape. The music really makes him happy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hospice Move - Music and St Joseph

My dad's move went very well today. He is still at the same hospital, but they moved him to a hospice room. Sure, its still a hospital room, but they will now focus on keeping him comfortable. The people taking care of him are fantastic, he is in a good place. It was nice we didn't have to move him to another facility.

Dad and I had a nice afternoon listening to music. I had my Ipod Touch at the hospital and was connected to through the hospital's wifi. I put one ear phone in dad and one in was nice listening together. Dad was born in 1926 and a big band fanatic. We grew up listening to lots of great bands and arrangements. I picked out some songs that dad likes...he was singing along and even if his eyes were closed he was tapping his feet in rhythm. We listened to a bunch of Glenn Miller,a favorite being Moonlight Serenade, String of Pearls and Little Brown Jug. Also enjoyed some Tommy Dorsey, "I'm getting sentimental over you". One of his favorite arrangements is the song Moonglow with the theme from the movie Picnic - I think Moonglow is actually his favorite song. The cool think about some of the songs we got on youtube was that they were old 78's which is how dad listened in his youth. We also listened to some hymns and when I played Jesu Man's Joy of Desiring from Celtic Woman, I just cried a river, its so beautiful...and one of dad's favorite hymns. Actually Celtic woman does a beautiful Danny was lip syncing on that one with his eyes closed and a VERY peaceful look on his face. My sister is taking him a CD player and stopped by his place to get some of his tunes, so he will be able to listen when he wants.

The best thing about him being in a hospice room is that they are taking out the nasal tube draining his stomach....well they will see how he does. They are also going to try untying his hands which has been the hardest part of seeing him.....restrained...for his own good, but still it broke my heart. His hands are very swollen and they are trying to help that as well. He keeps asking to go walking which is hard to know that he is so weak he can't stand up...but the doctor told me with hospice care, they will do their best to give them the joy they seek. Hopefully unrestrained he won't try to get up and fall down. I don't want him in any more pain.

Thanks for your prayers, please keep them coming.

St Joseph the earthly Father of Jesus is the patron saint for the dying. Please ask him to come to my dad's aid for a peaceful death and that my dad will be taken to heaven. As Catholics, we ask the Saints to pray for us just the same as we ask our friends.

Prayer to Saint Joseph for a Happy Death

O Blessed Joseph, you gave your last breath in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When the seal of death shall close Jack's life, come with Jesus and Mary to aid him. Obtain for Jack this solace for that hour - to die with their holy arms around him. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul, living and dying, into your sacred arms. Amen.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Update

My dad is still at the hospital.....he took a turn for the worse this week and the doctor told us yesterday we might want to start taking hospice. He could make it 2 weeks, but in her opinion it will be no longer than a week......and he is so weak it could be any day. So we wait. He does not have a terminal illness, but his condition is terminal. He is very comfortable and content as he can be. He was asleeep most of the time during my visit this morning. When he does talk, its so soft I can barely understand him. I will say the nurses at the hospital are giving him great care. When he is in pain, he just starts praying. He received communion this morning and then slept like a champ.

I spoke with my pastor this morning after mass and I feel much better about things. He talked to me for a while and I am more at ease with the fact I can't be there 24/7. Thanks so much Msgr Marren for your words this morning! I am hoping Andy can go say goodbye to Dad tomorrow. I have asked him to thank dad for me.....I know kind of corny, but you know it will make him feel good and to also tell Dad he will take good care of Sarah and I.

My sister and I will speak with a caseworker at the hospital tomorrow to see what our options are. Because Dad has specified in his living will he wants to be fed and hydrated, I dont' think many Hospices will accept him. I will not be sad if our only option is to leave him at the hospital as though its sterile and sparse, he is getting great care and is resting well.

So now I make brownies. Sadly, food is a comfort for me...which I need to be very comfortable about. Please continue to pray for us.

My dad has always liked this Psalm, its marked in his bible....I know kind fo cliche for death, but its the 23rd Psalm.

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.

Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.

You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pics of Dad from October and Thanksgiving last year

Thought I would share a pic of dad for those who haven't seen this one...though it was in my blog. Here is Dad on Halloween with Sarah....we went shopping together at publix for his Boost and cough drops. Also one from Thanksgiving 2007 with me and SC.

Please keep praying for him. He is so weak. Its hard that I can't even give him ice chips for fear of aspiration......he is peaceful though. He had a visit today from Monsignor Lopez and from Fr Brian Higgins. Dad really likes both of these holy men and my sister said it did him well to receive the sacrament and to get a visit....FYI, they tear off a TINY piece of the host for patients like dad and let it melt away. Msgr Lopez is on of the busiest people I know, which is such a blessing he took time to go see my dad.

Luckily, Andy's office is almost next to the hospital, so I picked him up at lunch and he he dropped me off at the hospital while he enjoyed lunch with Sarah. I will go back tonight.

New Years Day at the Mall and Hospital

Andy, Sarah and I headed over to the mall before lunch to just get out and try to do something normal. Since we got home from Cali, haven't done much as a family so it was fun to be together. Not alot of people shopping today - which is always good to avoid crowds. Sarah loves to ride the Carousel at the mall and goes nutty when she sees it. Today she picked the Elephant and while she rode with Daddy, I got to waive from the sidelines. She was SO happy - beaming with joy, what a delight for me. I need to work on her waive though.

After we got home, Andy loaded up my IPOD with some more Mad Men episodes, does it get any better than that......and off to the hospital I went.

Dad looked bad, very weak. Paler than yesterday. He greeted me as usual with a huge smile and kept telling me how pretty I am, nothing like a daddy's love. I am sure I am pretty as I have dark circles under my eyes and no make up. I also need to touch up my grays - hey at least I showered today, but to my dad I am beautiful. His voice was VERY soft I could barely understand what he was saying. He slept allot while I was there off an on. He hardly sat up or tried to get out of bed. He still is asking for a cup of coffee. He is out of it, he thinks he is at his little unit at the village...and keeps saying "I am going to go back to the bedroom now to go to sleep". No movements, he still has the blockage.

Apparently he had a bad night last night. Kept pulling out the tube in his nose and was uncomfortable. The nurse said he was pretty peaceful today that he was sleeping off and on. He had the TV on - watching the Clemson Nebraska game and he was aware of what was going on....even commented on how skinny the kicker's legs were. He watched the Rose Bowl until half time and asked me to turn off the TV so he could go to bed.

He told me allot he loves me and I say it in return - as I know nothing else to say. I asked him today to please forgive me if I haven't been spending enough time with him lately and he told me that was not the case...that he loves our time together. "We are blessed" he told me as he said we have had so many fun times together as a family. All I can do is reply with tears in my eyes "I love you daddy"....and on the ride home think of so many things to thank him for, like how he showed me how to identify ORian's belt in the stars or how to identify a hawk soaring or how in a formation of geese how there is always the lead who flaps and the others follow. I have learned so much from him and I know I love so many things because he showed me and told me about them. Dad also told me he would pray for me, to which I asked him in tears...."When you get to heaven and meet my little boy Caleb, please tell him that his family on earth loves him so much". He nodded with a smile which opened a floodgate of tears.

My sister concurred he looked worse. She was with him before I got there and I must have just missed her when I arrived. His hands are still restrained as he wants to get up and pull out the tube, so he asks me to do things like wipe his eyes and put lip balm on his very chapped lips after which I get that big appreciative smile.

I thanked the nurses as I left for taking such great care of him and I totally lost it and started crying. Ann the wonderful lady who took care of him today hugged me and said its hard to watch them in this condition. I told Andy tonight, I might pick him up at lunch and head over for a quick visit tomorrow as dad is just down the road from his office. I asked Andy to please tell dad he loves me and will take good care of Sarah and I so Dad doesn't need to worry about us after he is gone.

And my sweet dad who normally HATES hospitals and will be a difficult patient is taking it all so well. When he starts to hurt, he just starts praying. He likes it when we sing hymns to him also. I can see the hope of the spirit in him...even in his weakened condition.

That's it for now, I better go to sleep!

Romans 5:3-5
We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope. And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God had been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Tobit 5:10
Raphael said, "Take courage! God has healing in store for you; so take courage!"