Thursday, January 10, 2019

I Miss My Dad

The days leading up to my Dad's passing were rough.
We went from discussing the possibility of moving him from Hospice to Home Healthcare, to watching him rapidly deteriorate.

When it became apparent he wouldn't improve my mom and brothers were determined to help Dad be as comfortable as possible.  Mom had bought a record player to give him for Christmas.  He had a box full of records he'd inherited from his mother.  So they pulled out the record player and put on some Ed Sherman, one of my Dad's favorites.

He wasn't very coherent at this point but when he heard the music he opened his eyes and smiled.

My mom was constantly at his side.
Her hope through all of this was that she could care for him at home and when the time came he could pass away in their home.  She was so grateful to be able to have that happen.

This fireplace has been under construction since the Fall.
It was finally completed a few days before Dad's passing.
My Dad was not one to leave a project unfinished so we joke that he couldn't let go until the dang fireplace was completed.

They decorated it for Christmas and the room was a beautiful and peaceful space.

My brothers never left my Dad's side.  
Together they took care of him those last few days, doing all they could to keep him comfortable.  Several of my other siblings were there too.  With so much help surrounding him I decided to stay at the cabin with my family.  Each of Dad's kids had the privilege of taking care of him over those months he was so sick and those are times we'll never forget.

Megan and Kimmy's husband Scott stayed with Dad the night of December 21st.
Dad really struggled to sleep.  He was so itchy.  We now know that his Liver was failing and the itching was a side effect.  He was up several times throughout the night.  One of those times he had all these impressions.  He felt they were important and wanted to write them down.  Megan sat with him and did her best to help him put his thoughts on paper.
The following night he was no longer coherent.  I was at the cabin but Megan, Oliver, Kimmy, Rick and Rob were there with him the entire night.  None of them would leave his side.

There have been moments over the last few months where I've gotten frustrated, trying to figure out the purpose of all his suffering.  I know Dad had his own plan on this earth.  He signed up for it and he agreed to it, but when he was so sick, all I could see was the trial of it.
When I would step back and try and see things with a broader perspective than just this life, I could see the hand of the Lord in all of it.  I also learned that in caring for my Dad, and in doing all those things for him that he couldn't do for himself, he was teaching me more about Jesus Christ’s Atonement.  
Christ did for me what I can't do for myself.  
I was blessed with a beautiful and intimate way to understand our Saviors Atonement as I know my father understood it.

On Sunday, December 23rd, many of us stopped in to see Dad.  He was in a coma at this point but we each read him the entries from his 70th birthday Gratbook.  We hugged and kissed him.  I wasn't sure this would be the last time we'd see him but it felt like it might be.

He was surrounded by love all the hours leading up to his passing.

He died sometime between midnight and 1am on Christmas Eve, shortly after my mom knelt to pray and told Heavenly Father that she was okay for Him to take my Dad home.

I absolutely love these photos of my Dad.
I looked at them a lot during the holidays.
I didn't picture Dad with Santa but I did picture him happy, so so happy.

This post took a lot out of me.
I still need to post about the funeral services but that is for another day.
I miss my Dad so much.