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hanging on…..

October 26, 2011


ot much has changed with my dad.

he has had no nutrition for almost 2 weeks now and he hasn’t had water in two days.

last night they had to suction him for the first time.  he is having what they call “death rattle”, which is mucous that is “pooling” in the back of his throat and because he can no longer swallow, he is choking on it.  they had to suction him out again this morning.  this is a common condition in people when they are close to death.

they’ve told me that he can’t go on like this much longer.

and though it’s only been a week since we got the call that he’s quit eating, it seems like this has been going on for months.

i was telling someone just this morning that i feel as though i’m standing in the middle of a merry-go-round that is spinning out of control, while i am remaining still and confused by the blurry visions flying by.

there’s so much i want to do, but can’t.

my brother is driving back today from north carolina and wants so badly to get here before my dad dies.  he won’t get in until tomorrow morning, which could be too late, but only God knows.

i saw my dad last thursday, a week ago tomorrow.  and yet, i feel as though i haven’t seen him in months.

i long to hold his hand again and feel the warmth of his fingers.

and yet, i am terrified of seeing him choke on this mucous stuff and am afraid to be there when he’s breathing his last breath.

i don’t want my last memory of my dad to be of him struggling like he has the past few days.

i want to remember how it was last week when he was peaceful and allowing me to hold his hand.

i want to remember the way he reached out to grab my arm as i bent down to kiss his cheek.

i don’t want visions of him choking to block out the sweet memories i have of our last visit with him.

and yet, if they call and tell me he only have 24 hours to live, i would go.  i’d have to.  how could i not?

my prayer and my hope would be that dad would pass peacefully in his sleep, without any pain.

and yet i know that may not be the case.

there are so many unknowns right now, and quite frankly it sucks.

everytime the phone rings my heart stops.

i want dad to go home to be with Jesus, where he’ll be healthy and free, and yet i want to hold on to him and keep him here where i can hold his hand.

and it’s so hard to accept the fact that it’s not about what i want.

it’s about God and his perfect timing.

it’s about the fact that God loves my dad even more than i do and he sees my dad’s pain.

and it’s about the reality that my dad’s days are numbered and God knows when the time is right for dad to come home.

but in the meantime, it hurts.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2011 3:57 pm

    I was a Hospice nurse for 7 years so I am very familiar with what is happening with your Dad. If he has the death rattle; it won’t be long. If you are with him you can tell him to wait for your brother to come; I have seen patients wait for different things. Also, we believe that he can hear you so just tell him how much you love him and hold his hand. When my father died; I was privlidge to hold his hand. However, I took care of my mother for 6 months before she passed away in my home. I had to go out of town and my brother came to be with her while I was gone. I felt bad not to be able to say a final good-by. She was alert when I left and I told her not to go before I got home. I believe that my Dad came to get her and she wasn’t going to wait for me to be around. I have had so many spiritual experiences with death that I know they go to a better place surrounded by loved ones. Praying for you to feel the comfort of the spirit.

  2. October 26, 2011 4:19 pm

    Praying for you, Patty and your family. May you all feel the Lord’s comfort in this time.

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