Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 will go down as one of the worst days of my life.

The hospital called us about 15 minutes before we were planning on leaving for the hospital and told us we needed to get to the hospital ASAP. My heart dropped into my stomach. I've made that call to families before......

We (U-J, Mom and me) arrive at the hospital and Mom and U-J immediately go to see Pops. The nurse holds me up and tells me I need to get Mom to sign Pops' DNR. That is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.....

His nurse tells me he is probably not going to make it through the day. His pastor is an RT at the hospital, and the nurse has already called him. Thankfully, he tells Pops what is going on (I don't think I could have told him) and that he needs to tell us goodbye.....

My mom is in pieces. They began dating when they were 16 and have been married for 43 years. Pops is asking for my brother. I have to tell my brother that Pops is going to die and he's waiting for him to get there so he can say goodbye.....

I begin to call family. Pops gives me a list of friends to call. Then he begins to plan his funeral. I spent rest of the morning calling family and friends, taking care of my mom, saying goodbye to my dad and crying. Pops keeps asking for my brother. I desperately want my brother to get to the hospital (he made a 5 hour drive in less than 4 hours), and at the same time I dread him arriving. I fully believe that once Pops has us all together and tells us he loves us, he is going to go.....

My brother arrives. We spend time as a family. Tons of tears are shed. This is the first time I have ever seen U-J cry. Pops keeps telling my mom to smile....

The ICU nurses are GREAT. He is the only patient in the ICU, so we have the floor to ourselves. They set as many chairs up in the room as they could and let him have as many visitors as he wants--and he wants to see everyone.

Several of his friends scrap their Thanksgiving plans and drive 2, 3, 4 hours to see him. Once he has a room full of people, U-J, my brother and I slip out to get something to eat (none of are hungry, but we know we need to eat and decompress a little.) My dad won't let my mom out of his sight, so she stays.....

We return to the hospital an hour or so later after the worst Thanksgiving meal ever. When we return, he has a room full of friends, he's telling stories and smiling. He's at peace, and miraculously, a little stronger....

I send my brother and U-J home for the night. Mom stays in his room, and I try to sleep in the waiting room. I don't want her to be at the hospital alone if he passes away.....

This morning the doctor comes in and says that he has to spend one more day in the ICU. The next day he can go to a regular room, and then if all goes well he can go home.....

It isn't over, but it been one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride......

7 comments:

Jon said...

Let me see: Family and friends get together. Plenty of stories and emotional times. The only drawback is dad has had a heart attack, but is well on the way to recovering. It sounds like a real Thanksgiving.

BTW, my dad died days after the last Thanksgiving I had with him. He was in a coma and I've always kept the hope he nodded his head when I said goodbye. That was the last time I saw him and I would love to have one more moment to sit with him in the hospital.

Happy Thanksgiving. The blessing we receive may be disquised.

Mark said...

Your father has the strength of loving friends and family, and also prayers.

jon said...

And I didn't mean to make it seem your emotional rollercoaster was a trivial occurence. In truth, my heart was saddened by this, but I felt you were a little resentful of the occurence, which is understandable. It's part of our reactions to the things that tug at our soul. There is a blessing in all of our traumas. We blind ourselves to these blessings as though we relish our emotionals reactions. Maybe we do.

Ambulance Driver said...

I suspect that whether your Dad passes soon, or whether he lives for years longer, the pain of this day will eventually pass.

What will remain is the knowledge that your Dad had all of his loved ones around him in his moment of need, and all of you had the chance to tell him you loved him.

Those are the things that linger when grief has passed.

Treasure the moments you have now, and Thanksgiving 2008 you can raise a glass to him...

...and God willing, he'll be there at the end of the table to acknowledge the toast.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Oh, Dixie. I feel so bad for you. I wish there was something I could do.

It is uplifting to hear, however, that he got his crowd of his nearest and dearest there at a moment's notice. Buncha folks must love your Daddy.

I pray for you, U-J, and the rest of your family in your dark hour.



tweaker

Lin said...

You don't know me. . but your husband was one of my flying blog fans before I shut it down. I'm so sorry. . that's all I can say
Linda aka "skywriter"

phlegmfatale said...

Bless you and your family.