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Head in the Sand


Watching Dad pass was the most excruciating experience of my life.  Nights without sleep, holding his hand, changing his bedding and cleaning his body, massaging lotion onto his feet and ankles and just hoping that some of this gave him comfort.  There were many hours of listening and watching him talk to people we could not see, and endless groans. His body and face seemed to change within hours.  His strong hands were the only comfort, other than the right hand which we labeled the “big arm” because he had developed cellulitis, a word that I thought only applied to women’s buttocks. 

Me?  I’m comfortable with hiding and or running from this kind of thing, but, something inside of me said, “See it through, stop running away”.  So I stayed, I watched, I comforted, I prayed, I cleaned and wiped and cried when I knew he couldn’t see me.  Fortunately I had distractions, like deer ticks, and a nasty upper respiratory infection that gave me a minute to hack up a Louie, or pluck out a deer tick.  I’m tired, beat, and have a deep empty ache that has not been fully addressed in all the sleepless nights and running to and fro to follow up on the death of my dear father.  I had precious moments to share with my sisters and brothers.  I wish they were spent over a happy occasion.  They were all strong. We all hugged and picked each other up at the moment we needed it the most.  We bonded in a way I cannot yet explain.  I love you all!  We held Dad’s hands and each other’s right till the last breathe.  I thank God that we walked him over to the other side, the better side of life.  I asked him to walk us over when our time comes and I believe he will.


Margaret said…
Theresa, In reply to your words: "We bonded in a way I cannot yet explain," I felt the same way. I also know that is forthcoming for both of us because we are not people who can let that percolate inside for long. It is just too big to contain.
Catherine said…
Thank you for sharing your heart in this piece. We have bonded and changed in so many ways. None of us will ever be the same again. When the emptiness subsides we will emerge better, gentler and more complete for having this experience. It's what Dad wanted for us and our love for each other will bridge that gap from here to eternity. That was Dad's gift to us.
Thanks Cat... still feeling nauteous and empty inside... I guess it will take a bit more time for us to get on with things :(
The whole experience made me miss my sisters more, I enjoyed every moment with you all! said…

I could not sleep last night with so much on my mind. That hasn't happened in a while.

I know that life is something we are just passing through, but I sure miss Dad. I miss hearing him say, "Hey, how 'bout a cup of tea?" And everything else. I realize just how cheerful he was most days in spite of his age and complicated situations.

I am also still thankful for the time we all spent together and for these words you wrote for so many reasons.

Hugs, Margaret

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