Thursday, July 23, 2015

Goodbye Dad

It has been a few weeks since I wrote a blog post.  Around the 4th of July, my sister was kind enough to come to our home.  She came to watch over my dad while we took a vacation.  We hadn't gone anywhere for quite some time because it was hard for dad to travel.  My sister lives in Michigan, and we live in Wisconsin.  She took the S. S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  The trip across Lake Michigan takes about 4 hours, but it is much more relaxing than driving through Chicago with all the traffic and construction.

We traveled 3150 miles in 10 days.  I will share some of our trip in a future blog.  We had some awesome experiences in a short time.  I wasn't worried about dad because he seemed to be doing well when we left and I knew he was in good hands.  Dad and my sister visited, listened to his favorite music and generally relaxed and spent quality time together.  I was so grateful for this.  We returned home a couple days before my sister was scheduled to return to her home.  We also had a nice visit.  The day she was to return home, dad didn't feel very well.  I decided to stay home and my husband drove my sister to the boat.  We had a normal day except he seemed a little out of breath when he walked and seemed tired.  Then early the next morning he rang his door bell just before 6:00am.  When he needed me, he would ring his bell.  I went into his room and he told me he thought he needed to go to the hospital.  He just didn't feel well.  We had made a trip to the ER before our trip with the same symptoms, but he checked out fine.  I wasn't worried.  Boy was I wrong.  They did the usual tests and the doctor added additional ones.  He told us he was very ill.  They said he had advanced bone cancer and would need to come home under Hospice care.  That was one week ago.  He came home.  He was able to say goodbye to his brother, his sister and other family members who came right away to see him.  He was able to stay at home in his own bed with birds singing and his favorite songs playing in the background.  Then last Tuesday, six days after he rang the door bell for help, he rang his final bell.  He died at home with my husband and me present.  He hung on until my sister was home safe and sound with her family, our daughters said their final goodbyes and went home to their families, and the house was quiet like it usually is.  He passed so peacefully.  I feel a huge void in the house right now, but he is where he wanted to be.  My mom died 3 ½ years ago.  They had been married 65 years, and he was looking forward to seeing her again.  We will miss him terribly but know that he had a beautiful long life (90 years) with tons of people who loved him and his kind gentle nature.

We will miss you dad.