Wednesday, August 15, 2012
My Dad's Journey: The Road Home
We were not there with him, I'm sure he planned it that way.
On Sunday, the 'kids' were there to see his beautiful blue eyes open for the last time. It was only for a minute, but as his gaze scanned the four of us, there seemed to be some recognition. Monday mid-day, Mom whispered to him it was time to let go. My sister-in-law saw him a bit later and told him to be at peace. I arrived later in the evening and sat holding his hand and remembering. It's always about the memories.
When you are a kid growing up, all you ever think about are things: toys, clothes, these days... computers, electronics...stuff. But at the end of a life, all you think of are moments in time. In my heart I knew this would be my final visit, the last one-on-one time we would ever have. I thought about family vacations, the hours we spent doing jig-saw puzzles, the talk of sports, how he would cut out articles he thought we would enjoy from the newspapers...the little things. And I thought about the last really good day I had with him. It was an evening before his transfer to the nursing home from the hospital. His mind was back to his new normal, after a week of treatment for dehydration. We sat together as the sun went down and he spoke easily, something he was not able to do when he got sick, and something which became more and more difficult as time went on. It was a special moment and I knew it.
Monday night, when it was time to leave, I kissed him as I always did and told him I loved him. It had been four days since he said those words back to me. I went to leave, then turned and went back to give him one more kiss. As I touched his forehead I said "You rest now"
And now he is.
Love you Pops...always.
Thanks to all of you who have ridden shotgun on this journey with my Dad. Thanks for the support, the hugs across the miles, and the kindness from people who have never met me or my father. It has meant more than words can say.
For a musical tribute to my dad click on this link: "Minutes to Memories: Celebrating My Dad's Life"
For links of the entire journey, click on this post. "My Dad's Journey: From the Beginning"
Life is forever changed, but we move forward. We cry now and we will for a while. But laughter truly is the best medicine and our family has always been centered on laughter...and love. Dad taught us that.