The last time I saw my dad was on the day after New Year’s Day, January 2. That was one week before he passed away.
Mom and I went in to see Dad. He hadn’t been in a wheelchair in many weeks. He could no longer sit up, so he was placed in a recliner on wheels. The first time I saw him in the recliner, it was all I could do from breaking down. His body seemed contorted in strange positions and he was propped up with pillows.
Mom always went to the second floor to get Dad and would wheel that big recliner into the elevator and take him downstairs to visit with him. She would have a bottle of Ensure tucked in her purse. She placed a straw in it and told Dad it was a milkshake. He would drink it down so well through a straw. Then he would drink a cup of coffee through a straw. He rarely talked on these visits and just didn’t seem to be much interested in anything. I always struggled as I didn’t know what to say….Mom would talk to him and fuss over him and he seemed almost distant.
On the last visit, Dad grabbed my hand in his. Somehow, I knew he was telling me goodbye. We went downstairs for our visit and when I spoke, he didn’t respond. At one point, his leg slipped off the recliner. Since I was sitting near his legs, I gently moved his leg back up. He didn’t complain when I moved it, but later, he drew his legs up and said his knees hurt so much. He told Mom and I that we had no idea of the pain he was in. It was all I could do to keep the tears back. When I had moved his leg back onto the recliner, I was shocked to see his calf wasn’t much larger than my forearm.
A couple of days after my visit, my mom called and said Dad was in really poor condition. He had internal bleeding but was in such weakened condition, it would be hard to even do anything for him.
Dad passed away, very peaceably. My mom, two brothers, and my uncle (Dad’s brother) were talking in the room when he passed.
I will miss my dad. He was an amazing man, driven by his deep convictions….
I guess the reality of the whole situation has suddenly struck me now. I am so grateful that my dad was with me all my adult life. I know so many people lost parents at a young age. I thank the Lord for all the wonderful times we shared and all the happy memories!