Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good Bye Daddy

Here I am, back and feeling better than ever. The last post I posted was about my dad, for those of you who read my other blog, you know that my dad passed away on July 30th, it was good, well as good as a death can be. Let me tell you about it.

Two days after writing my last post here that I had gotten back home, Sunday right after church, I received a phone call from my sister telling me that her hubby and their daughter were on their way to pick me up, I had 7 hours to get ready to go back to Fort Worth. I had been home for a week and one day.

I packed a bag, made some phone calls to let people out here know I would be gone for another little bit, and I waited for my brother in law and niece to arrive. They got here about midnight, I met them at the entrance to my neighborhood, kissed my hubby goodbye and started out on an overnight drive. We arrived in Fort Worth about 8ish in the morning, we went directly to the hospital. I went straight to my dad's room but was only able to stay less than a minute, the hospice people were there and wanted to talk to the family. Those few seconds I was in dad's room, I don't believe he even knew I was there, he had on a full face mask bi-pap machine, it assists in breathing. I couldn't see his face very clearly, and I was sure he couldn't see me, at least not enough to recognize me. He didn't respond at all to me walking in the room.

The hospice nurse told us that it would be next to impossible for us to take him home to die, something my dad wanted to do but had rejected the idea when we brought it up to him before, when he would have been healthy enough to make the trip back to his house. He balked at the idea of having hospice, I suppose it's not easy to accept the idea that one is about to die, he felt like he had more things to do.

We agreed that he would stay at the hospital and began calling family members and friends to come in and say goodbye. We knew he wouldn't see the end of the day. Within an hour or so, that room at the hospital, it was a cardiac ICU, was filled with people, friends, family, neighbors, it was amazing the number of people who showed up. Once the whole family was there (with the exception of 2 family members who were out of town), I told everyone to go outside into the hallway, I had each family member go into the room by themselves to say their final goodbyes. I am so thankful that we had the time and opportunity to do that. I didn't go in and talk to him alone, I had spent days and nights with him before and had already said everything that needed to be said in private.

As the day wore on, more and more people showed up, I am so thankful for the hospital, North Hills Hospital for allowing us to have so many people there, the room was full, we were spilling out into the hallway, and they never once said anything about having too many people there. I suppose they see a lot of people pass with no family or friends there. In fact, during the time I was there before, spending nights up there with dad, I had gone out into the hallway, it was dark and quiet. There had been a door to a room down the hall, there was a sign on the door that said "no visitors, see the nurse's desk", the room door was shut and no one went in or came out. Later that night, I saw the staff going into the room and quietly removing the patient, an older lady, they had her in a body bag, they had placed a hand made crocheted (granny squares) blanket over her, they quietly took her to an elevator that is for hospital staff only. I don't remember seeing anyone coming or going from that room, I wonder if she died alone...

Spending so much time in the hospital, I became very familiar with the routines and sounds of the hospital, and the spirit life there, and believe me, there is a lot of activity. A few hours before my dad passed, I was looking toward the door in the room. I saw a shadow figure go by very quickly, too quickly for a living person to have gone by, and less than a second later, another one, just like the first one flew by, I don't believe they had anything to do with my dad or that room, I believe I just happened to look up at the right time.

Being in the room while my dad was dying was quite an experience, I felt quite honored to be part of it, I talked to my dad nearly the whole time, we played gospel music, we sang, we prayed, we cried, we laughed, we told stories. Dad would respond from time to time, one thing he did was he hit his fist on the bed and said "I'm not ready!", even when you believe in an afterlife, it can be hard to face it, that final step can be a scary one.  I am convinced that he did pass on into Heaven though, about an hour before he breathed his last breath, he looked up toward the end of the bed and said "Hello Anita.", she was his oldest child, I had the honor of being by her side when she passed away some 5-6 years ago, we knew she was a saved Christian, I had been waiting for something like that to happen, I just didn't know who it would be, so when Dad acknowledged her, I felt comfortable that he was going to be OK.

Dad passed away later in the afternoon, he had been there long enough for the nurses, doctors and staff to get to know him, there were tears from them all, the nurses, the lady who cleaned his room, even his doctor there. That is part of the job, but it still doesn't make it any easier.

One of the things my dad and I discussed in the weeks before his death was if it was possible, he would come visit me, I do not actively seek it because I don't want to attract something else that might try to pretend to be my dad. I haven't had a visit from him, there was one dream I had where I thought it might have been him, but I feel quite certain by my response that it wasn't him, I'll talk about that in another post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments, but not spam, so I moderate all comments, I'll approve your post in fairly short order.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, read my stuff and leave a comment! :)