Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I was thinking today about my wish to be with Dad when he died. I made a specific request the day before he died to be contacted should anything change for the worse. Unfortunately, he still died alone in his room at the nursing home sitting in from of the golf game on the TV. This scenario breaks my heart. I know he would not want me to be upset about not being there with him. I wish Mom and I had spent more time with him that afternoon. She said the same thing the other day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mom told me this morning that she had been awake from 11pm until 4am this morning. She said she was thinking about Dad and felt like he was with her. She had a hard time explaining it, but it sounded like his spirit was with her in the night. I know he felt a strong need to look out for my Mom it would not suprise me if he came back as a spirit to be with her at night...which is the hardest time for her.

Poem for Dad

A friend sent me this poem in a was read at Pamela's Mother's service...and is one I really like. I would like to dedicate it to my Dad on the one month anniversary of his death.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there
I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the autumn rain
When you awake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of birds circling in flight
I am the stars that hine at night
do not stand at my rave and weep
I am not there
I do not sleep

I was reminded of something my pastor said at Dad's memorial aunt Josephine reminded me tonight when we talked ...the thing that lasts is love...that is Dad's legacy...the love he gave to me in this lifetime is his gift to me. Loving others will be my way of carrying on this wonderful gift of my Dad's love.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Today marks the one month anniversary of Dad's death. I spent the day taking Mom to her opthamology appointment. Her eye is still bothering her due to shingles. She is doing ok, but still experiences pain. The doctor told her it may last for as long as 18 months. She also has some murkiness behind the lenses that was installed during her cataract surgery. We go back in a month for another appointment and to have Laser surgery on her eye.

I took Mom to breakfast after her appointment. I have noticed that her appetite is much better when she is out at a restaurant or if I eat with her at home. She ate a good breakfast of French toast and sausage with two cups of coffee. Afterwards we drove downtown so that I could file Dad's will with King County Superior Court. It felt like a non event to me..but all the while it also felt kind of surreal.

Mom wanted to go to the grocery store afterwards, so I drove her to her favorite Safeway. She loves getting those carts that you drive around the store. She is pretty good at maneuvering and I think it gives her a sense of independence. I loaded all the bags in the car, but Mom buckled up and then took her home. She wanted me to have lunch with her while she got the chicken salad and coleslaw on the table, I boxed up Dad's books and put them in the closet.

After I left, I drove to the nearest library and finally found C.S. Lewis's book "A Grief Observed". While there, I had a long conversation outside the building with an old friend, David, who wanted to check in and see how everything was going here. Drove home after that, had dinner, watched a little TV and watered the garden. Now I am waiting for Pamela's call once she arrives from Boston. I will be glad to have her has been kind of quiet around here without her presence.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I took Mom to the Bay Cafe for Sunday dinner today. She is still talking about wanting to go back to Arizona. I told her that I would not help her return to Arizona. She can't take care of herself here...much less in Arizona. I know she wants to return to her old life there ...but that included Dad and he is gone now. I told her the only move I would help her with would be to assisted living of some kind. She doesn't want to go into a "home" but frankly I think this would be better for her than living by herself. I am not going to do anything for now...just trying to help her as Dad would want me to....whenever I am having trouble with Mom, I ask myself..What Would Dad Do? That usually helps me a lot.

I miss my Dad....I know he is in a better of trouble of pain. I just wish I could talk to him....I miss my Dad.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday, July 21,2007

Dad has been gone almost a month. I miss him every day and wish that I could talk to him.

Mom is so lonely...alone....not willing to look at other living situations. I have a hard time with her constantly neediness. She won't do anything to make her situation better. I offer to bring music tapes..she doesn't want music. She doesn't read. All she does is eat, sleep and clean. I am taking two days off from seeing her. I will go up tomorrow after church and take her out for lunch.

I feel kind of numb and empty....tired both emotionally and physically.

We had a memorial service last Sunday at my church for Dad. My aunt Josephine came. She spoke about Dad and was really supportive. Several of my friends did Pamela's friends. It was a nice service. Pamela and I put together a DVD with music with pictures from Dad's life.

Mark showed up ...but kept himself separate from the rest of the people there. He is so wierd. I can barely speak to him right now. He continues to hassle Mom about how she is handling her affairs.

I just want some time to sort things out for myself.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

I picked up the seven certified copies of Dad's death certificate today. I walked to the car reading it...and saw that the cause of death was listed as "failure to thrive as a result of pancreatic adrenocarcinoma. I looked up "geriatric failure to thrive" and found this definition: a syndrome that involves progressive loss of physical and psychological function. Dad's definition means that the cancer created a progressive deterioration of his physical and mental health. More specifically, he had tumors throughout his body that most likely invaded his lungs, lymph system, spinal cord, abdomen and brain. As a result of the rapid spread of his cancer, he experienced confusion, fatigue, coughing, diminished appetite and general withdrawal from the world.

While all this sounds very clinical, it is entirely different to watch someone you love slip away so quickly. While I did everything I could think of to make Dad comfortable, in the end the disease ended his life about a month after the definitive diagnosis. I have to think that Dad knew something was going on before he finally asked me to take him to the Doctor in early May. He waited until Mom was feeling better after contracting shingles. Now I know that going even a month earlier would have made no difference. Pancreatic cancer is a silent and rapid cancer with no visible symptoms until it is already too late.

I miss my Dad. I know I did everything I could and continue to do what I can to help my Mom...but the bottom line is that my life is now split in with Dad and life after Dad's death.