I have been putting off writing this post. I knew it would be emotional, but I just couldn't seem to sit down and write about it. Even now, before I'm even started well, my stomach hurts. I had to do it though, because daily, I think of things I want to blog about, but it didn't seem right to keep writing about every day life when my heart is breaking and I haven't talked about the worst day of my life so far.
Thursday, April 12, started off rocky. I hadn't slept well in three nights and I was cranky, tired and emotional. To top it all off, I felt a cold sore coming. I had just had one a month earlier and I was like.. "really, again?"
Then, early afternoon, the hospital called and said I needed a second mammogram, and it needed to be tomorrow. Nothing scary about that, right? I broke down and cried. I called my husband at work and I never do that. I talked to my friend Carla and cried to her. She reassured me and reminded me that she's living proof that you can get through breast cancer, if that was even a thought to me. Nick reassured me as well and told me to lie down and take a nap. He knew I hadn't been sleeping well and that I was exhausted.
I had just taken to the couch with my blankie when my cell phone rang. My sister's name popped up. My sister never calls me. I knew something was wrong. I didn't answer. I wanted to put whatever it was off a little longer. I really thought I couldn't take whatever it was. She left a voice mail, I listened to it and all she said was "call me as soon as you can" I didn't.
I put my head back down and no more than five minutes later, the back door opens and Nick came in. I knew then it was serious. She had called him. I said oh gosh, did my sister call you? He said yes. I told him it must be bad and he told me my dad had suffered a stroke. Now my dad has had heart disease for years. Heart attacks, open heart surgery, stints etc and has always bounced back. A stroke threw me. I literally lost it. I was sobbing, crying out NO! Then it dawned on me, I didn't ask how bad it was. I said "He's going to be alright, isn't he?" Nick said, no babe, he's not. Then I realized he might already be gone. He said no, but they don't expect him to make it through the night.
Suffice it to say that I was hysterical. The thought of losing my dad was heart breaking.
To make a long story a little shorter, I flew out that night, arrived in Arkansas the next morning in time for them to wheel my dad to test his brain function. He had none. We took him off the life support after telling him our tearful good-byes. It was the worst thing I've ever been through.
It's been over three weeks and it is still so raw and so painful I wonder if I will ever get over it. And my poor mother, if it hurts me like this, how is she living through it?
The three days after my dad's passing were a blur. Funeral plans, so many people coming by, so much food, so many tears. It was overwhelming.
I will write more about his service later. For now, I have typed out and seen in print that my dad is gone. Maybe I can finish the story of his leaving this world and be able to move on with my thoughts.
My positive encouragement? My dad was the most Godly man I know. There is no doubt in my mind that he is singing with the angels now and is happier than any of us left here behind.
Here is a photo of my dad, mom and me last October when they came here to visit. It was taken on our drive up Mt. Rainier. My dad had just said something silly and made us laugh. I love to remember him this way.
The Helicopter Parent
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