Saturday, May 28, 2005

Enjoy the good days ...

So, my father's gone into a home hospice program. When he left the hospital, they told him he had two or three days left to live. I can't imagine how he felt ... what an awful thing to have someone tell you.

So we went home and tried to be strong for him. For two days, it looked like the doctors would be right and dozens of family members came over to say their goodbyes. Then, on Saturday the 21st, it was like someone switched on a light. His kidneys started working, he was getting stronger, and he got his appetite back. He could walk on his own from the bedroom to the living room. It looked like a genuine miracle.

My father and I told Bill, our home hospice nurse, about this amazing turnaround. We babbled that he was getting stronger every day and that it must be a miracle. He smiled sadly and said, "Enjoy the good days ... before the bad days come." How right he was ...

He's now gone the other direction. He's still trying to prove those doctors wrong. I've never seen anyone with a greater will to live; but he's fighting a losing battle. His kidneys have stopped again and now he's vomiting and unable to keep food down. His blood pressure was 50/30 last night. He's claiming to see "lights" now. I can only imagine what that means. I suppose you can only compensate so much. When your body starts breaking down ... there's only so much a person can fight.

Although I've never had anyone close to me die suddenly, it would have to be easier than this. It's heartwrenching to call and hear his voice getting softer and softer. My (ex-husband) said that I was given a gift ... and that if my Dad died suddenly, we would've never had these weeks and months together. We've said everything that needs to be said ... and said "I love you" a thousand times. I guess it is a gift ... but who knew gifts could be so painful.

I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all
You've dreamed of
And I wish you joy
And happiness
But above all this, I wish you love

Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You