My Father’s Story Part 6

(From the original MANNA FROM MY FATHER’S HAND # 6)

Continuing on with my Dad’s story…

Well, really, there was not much they could do for him. His body was simply not responding. He had issues going on with his heart, his breathing, his lack of appetite, his leg muscles rapidly declining, confusion…. It was sad to watch, and unclear as to how much time he had.

My sister asked if she should fly up to be there, because if he was going to pass away, she wanted to be by his side. I didn’t know WHAT to tell her, because we had been so geared to him getting BETTER, but I just thought “it’s not looking good”. But it was a long flight for her. Well, not long after, she said she was coming up and would arrive that night (apparently one of the staff had let her know that they didn’t think he had much time left)….

So two of my sisters (and my brother in law) ended up coming to join me up in his area. Thankfully, Dad held out not only until my sister could fly in (came in LATE at night, and we were praying that he would hold on), but in the end, he stayed with us a couple more days. And the staff was kind enough to agree to move him off that Covid filled wing (one of the nurses had kindly suggested we request that!)

Sweet, Private Moments with Loved Ones

They ended up moving us all the way down this other hallway, in a private room, secluded as the very last room on that wing, that was not even usually used or available…. Over the next couple of days, we all got to spend poignant and often sweet times together with our Dad and each other. Sad times, but grateful for such moments that we can hold in our memories. Near the end, we had asked our family members and his friends if they wanted to communicate their love to him (via phone calls, videos, words we could share with him, etc.) The Lord graciously allowed those moments for his loved ones to express their love, and for him to respond in whatever way he was able. His children, grandchildren, ex-wife, old friends, more recent friends, etc. had the rare opportunity to express their love while he was still able to receive it…. It was poignantly beautiful.

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My sister who had flown in stayed right by his bedside with me over the nights, sleeping uncomfortably on chairs and a really hard window seat. We laughed at it all…. After a couple of nights that way, one of the nurses was kind enough to get us a couple of mattresses to put on the floor (she said since it was the weekend, we’d probably get away with it, at least until Monday when the regular staff would become aware and tell us it wasn’t allowed). Wow, that was so much better!

Can We Have Light?

We tried to keep the room as dark as possible over night so we could all sleep (the lights are always on at night in those types of places, so I’d shut the door to the hallway as much as possible, and it was only opened up if they had to wake him for some reason at night; we could at least get some shut eye.) On one of those last mornings, he blurted out loudly at around 5 AM something like “can we have LIGHT?” a couple of times…. So I opened the door to get some more light in the room. My sister said she had seen him awake in bed, fidgeting with his hands for a little while before he spoke up…. Even at that late stage in his life, he was ready to get his day started and get on with his routine….

Staying at his house at night during the first week and a half of my visit taught me a good deal about light and dark. Maybe I’ll share some of that down the road. Also, in my next (and final) post in this series I’ll likely share more about the staff and other medical professionals’ impact on his life.

In the end, he passed away quietly, after I played him a video of one of his grandsons singing the Christian song “Knowing You” on my laptop, and then I sang “Daddy’s Little Girl” a Capella to him as he breathed his last. He slipped away from us, and he is and will be missed in many ways.

The next post in this series will wrap up the story of his recent and final years. But his impact on my own life and heart will certainly live on, and there will be many other things for me to share in the future, for my Heavenly Father has often taught me deeper truths by observing my earthly father’s life.

To be continued….

1 thought on “My Father’s Story Part 6”

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