Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Mediation

I'm not a morning person but it's hot outside and I needed to finish up painting the iron gate on the farm. So I got up early and painted. What a beautiful day. There were so many birds singing on the farm and reasonably cool at 7:30 a.m. Savor the details.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Down on the Farm

A busy day of tiling on the farm. We've also widened the drive, making the ditches less steep so they are easier to mow.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Miss you Dad. Everyday.

It's been nearly three years since I've posted on this blog about Mom passing away. It's fitting with Father's Day coming up this Sunday I write a little about Dad's passing on Oct. 18, 2017. I guess I've just been waiting for the right time.

Dad laid in the hospital bed in the living room looking out the big picture window. The setup was all too familiar. Mom had wanted to die at home too, surrounded by us kids. Dad had stopped eating and was taking only small sips of water initially, then not at all. He lingered like this for three weeks. It was very difficult to watch.

But during these three weeks, Dad would surprise us with his wit. When my sister was going for a walk he once said to her, "Don't be gone long." Then we just all stopped in our tracks and starred at each other wondering if she should really go or if he was trying to tell us something. She did go on that walk and return. We learned he wouldn't be that obvious when it was his time to go.

Dad talked about wetting his whistle when he wanted a drink and I remember him trying to whistle but his mouth was just too dry and he didn't have the strength. At one time he was an amazing whistler and could imitate any bird and get them to call back to him. Today when I hear a singing bird, I always think of him and whisper to myself, "Hi Dad."

He told us, "You can't be in two places at once" when we talked about going to run an errand and also not wanting to leave him. We'd ask him if he needed anything. He never did...except late one evening after two weeks of no food, he asked for an Eskimo Pie. We didn't have any. We found a drumstick in the back of the freezer but that wasn't what he wanted. He was flustered we didn't know what he meant. As it turns out Eskimo Pies are what he often called Drumsticks. He just didn't want it.

When the young Hospice pastor came over and bent over dad to introduce himself, he said in a rather loud voice, "How are you doing?" Dad pulled away saying, "I'm not deaf!" The Hospice pastor apologized for assuming he was hard of hearing. His hearing remained bionic to the end.

He got us all to laugh when the caregiver said the girls were coming over to give him a (sponge) bath. His response was "Oh, shit." I think he thought they were putting him in the tub. I've never seen my dad take a bath.

He would get chatty in the early morning hours. This morning close to 2am, he whispered something barely audible to me. He softly said, "I just want you to know that I have to go and that may be a disappointment for you." I'm not sure what he meant...Go to the bathroom? Go? As in go to heaven?  I questioned him for more details but his words were few and he seemed to float in and out. He didn't respond. I could only assure him that he wasn't a disappointment to me in any way.

In his typical style, whenever someone came over to visit, he thanked them for coming by to see him which was followed by "You're a wonderful person." Always wanting to make other's feel good and smile. That was just dad. Neighbors came to see him. Friends and family too. He was always able to put on a brave face even in a middle of dying.

He would ultimately fool us all by slipping away when we were in the kitchen, outside and in the next room on the phone. No one predicted this was the time he would go but I believed this is how he wanted it. The Hospice nurse had just visited with him an hour or so before he passed away. There was no indication that he was in any distress or in any worse condition. His blood pressure was fine. Heart rate was good but "You just can't be in two places at once."

Mockingbird outside my office often greets me. "Hi Dad!" I whisper.