Saying goodbye to dad

I am not even sure how I am going to be able to type this through my tears rolling down my cheeks 

how do you say goodbye to your dad

your hero

your mentor

your business partner of sorts

the grandfather to your children

the husband/partner to your mother

the man who has been the most constant in your life

I am not sure you can!


work feels so different with him gone .... like a light has permanently gone out in the restaurant
sometimes, a lot of the times, it's really hard to do work life without him. he was Mr Mayor after all!
there is such a giant hole

 Watching my dad die was awful. Understatement ... the weird part is that it all still feels so surreal .. like a bad dream. My dad was the most positive man/person I've ever known .. he walked what he talked and he was deeply convicted that the scripture that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) .. he felt he would live until he was 88 and then have the choice to live on or pass on to Heaven .. as weird as that might sound to some it was very normal to talk this way in my home! so in my mind growing up there was NO DOUBT my dad would live forever! so his even getting sick was such a shock and when I knew he was really dying .. it was brutal .. there are no words to describe trying to reconcile it in my head let alone my heart. Knowing he was dying was not something we could really talk about .. at least that is how I felt .. it was like to say it out loud would make it true therefore it was not spoken. So I watched silently. I was hopeful I was wrong.. that maybe I just lacked the faith everyone else seemed to have and I was totally wrong... I wanted to be wrong so very very badly.

Christmas he tried to rally ... he was out shopping totally exhausted, a walking skeleton by this time, buying us all presents, checking his list over and over, he bought us all blankets and prayed over them and attached scripture verses to them .. ok the tears are really hard to see through!! .... he loved us all so very much .. what a gift he was! his life was lived to give ... honestly I don't know anyone who gave us much as my dad. Christmas Day dad was not feeling well... he could hardly hold his head up... what he wasn't telling anyone was just how bad the pain was. He would never admit it. The thought of how much pain he was in breaks my heart. He was grumpy that day.. he would be grumpy then apologize .. repeat! I kept looking around at my family seeing if anyone knew what I knew.. that this was his last Christmas with us .. but no one said a word... it's something we just couldn't talk about.

After Christmas he really started declining .. his energy low, his thin body even thinner ... he could barely keep a few swallows of food down ... I visited him every single day .. sometimes only for a few minutes as the noise from Brahm drove him a little crazy as every sense in his body was in agony. I knew it was a matter of time... hoping against hope I was wrong... knowing I wasn't. My prayer life consisted of one word for the most part ... "PLEASE" ....

He would try to rally .. want to go out for Nando's Chicken.. which he couldn't keep down .. he missed food... he obsessed about food and what he could eat and keep down .. he mostly slept ... listened to Christian music and teachings... smiled weakly at me, told me he loved me, that he was so happy to see me happy in love and marriage.. told me he had worked through any unforgiveness that he may have in his heart towards anyone.. told me that the last person he had to work through forgiving was my ex (this still breaks my heart that my dad was so hurt and affected by the man I chose to marry all those years ago .. still makes me sad that everyone was affected) ... I cried he cried ... he would lightly touch my hand .. he couldn't stand to be touched by this time .. too much pain! ... he was so thankful for me coming over and making him his food.. jello with fruit was his favourite, reminds me of his mom as she always made that for us, for him, when we would go to her house .. love knowing that they are together again but deeply broken by it at the same time of fresh grief.

By the beginning of February I knew it was going to be soon .. I didn't know how soon but I knew it was weeks...no more months ... but a handful of weeks.... maybe

That is the time we got the call to go to Montreal for our immigration ... I was so scared of having to go and not being there when he died ... thankfully that wasn't the case, I am not sure I would have done that so well.

My life was moving full steam ahead .. my oldest daughter made me a grandma... my family was finally going to be immigrating to the US and moving .. and soon ... so many changes were about to happen and were happening and my dad's life was coming to an end here on earth.

The day he died is etched in my brain .. I am sure I play that tape a few times every day still.. mom called me to go sit with him as the physical therapist didn't want to be at the house alone with him .... so I left work ( I had just started back at work after a year of maternity leave.. over half of that was me at my parents helping to take care of dad) ... to keep his dignity I am not going to type out the details ... I just knew .. the therapist knew... the WCB case nurse knew .... I started calling my sisters ... it was time to come home NOW ... the therapist told me we needed an intervention, I told him he wanted to be home and to not be dying and not talk about it .. finally the pain climaxed and dad had had enough and agreed to me calling an ambulance... they finally came .. that felt like forever ... I called mom ... I called my sisters.. I called my husband ... I still thought a few days...we have a few days, he will go to hospice now, they will make him comfortable, we can gather, say goodbye..gulp how do you do that?.. and that's that ... they finally put him in a room ... a woman came flying into the ER and 5 minutes later delivered her baby right there in the ER .. a new born baby crying just feet where my dad lay breathing his last breaths ... the irony did not escape my sister Tam and I ... they gave dad some drugs, he had been crying for morphine, he started to relax ... I felt done, spent, the last several hours threatening to crumble me there in a pile on the nasty ER floor ... dad lay there on his side.. his bony no fat whatsoever left on his body side... looked at me with those amazing baby blue eyes and I knew the pain was at least at bay ... I said I love you dad.. I will be back after supper.. he said ok La I love you ..... I didn't go back after supper .. I was exhausted and was telling myself I had all day the next day to sit with him... to soak up as much of his presence as I possibly could.

I lay in bed and tossed and turned .... all I could think of was funeral plans and who we needed to contact and all the details.. the planner in me was wide wide awake and battling thoughts that I was full of unbelief and a massive lack of faith ... my sister in Ontario texted me at 1:30 am .. simply "are you awake" .. I quickly replied yes I can't sleep .. she said "mom texted me dad's stats have changed I think you need to go"... I got up and got dressed and went in ... the ER nurse told me what was happening .. the Dr signed a do not resuscitate order as his body couldn't take the CPR ... his stats were lowering ... this was really happening .. she said she tried to tell my mom but she thought my mom was in denial ... I don't blame her, the love of her life was about to leave this world I am not sure I wouldn't be the same .... I went in and saw she was right .. she called my dad's name and he responded with a HUH kind of noise ... and then he didn't respond anymore ... this was really happening .. I called my mom .. "mom, dad is dying you need to come" .. I called my niece to wake up my sister as she wasn't answering her phone... "papa's dying you need to tell your mom to come" .. I tried my sister in the Kootney's for hours to no avail ... I facetimed my sister in Ontario... she gathered her family there ... mom came.. crying .. it's too soon, it's too soon ... my sister Tam arrived ... we 3 stood there and my sister Shash watched from the phone... we cried... we told him we loved him ... my mom stroked his face and kissed him .... I held his hand.. his big giant hand ... told him it was ok.. we would be ok.. we would watch mom ... we would see him again .. it was ok to go now..

at 4:20am Tuesday Feb 16, 2016 my dad, Dwayne, took his last breath ... what he saw next I can hardly even imagine as he was welcomed into his Heavenly home ... he would see Jesus first I am sure .. his mom his dad his stepdad his brother his sister who he never met .. uncles aunts grandparents.. and my babies .. all my babies that died before they could take a breath .. he is with them all ....

and I miss him so very much
My world here will never be the same

but I am glad I at least know where he is

I will see you again dad!

Dad with Dr Jackson and my Grandson Alistair Jan 14, 2016

1 comment:

Tammy said...

��❤your dad's life was a beautiful love story. Thank you for sharing Lise.