Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Playing Catch Up

I really feel like the last month has been a complete whirlwind.  I am still trying to figure out where all the days went.  Daddy went to the hospice house on Wednesday, June 22nd.  I seriously think that was one of the hardest days for me personally.  The Saturday before that daddy wrote mom a note and said, "I'm dying."  We were a bit taken back by that because he did have some signs that his body was weakening, but definitely not what we were expecting to hear from him.  When we asked him how he knew that he said, "God told me."  So I really believe looking back that was the day that daddy came to grips with the reality that his days were numbered and God was beginning to give him (&us) the grace to deal with what the next days were to hold.  Taking care of daddy began to be so much harder in the days before we moved him.  He was to weak to move himself at all which made things hard for mom and her health.  We had a CNA that came in everyday, but we soon realized that wasn't enough help.  It was not an easy decision to make.  I knew in my heart that once daddy left, it meant he wasn't coming back home...ever!  The night before he left he had all of us come in his room.  Wipeout was on TV and the boys often watched this silly show, well really we all did, and laughed together.  By this point daddy was not really able to write very well so communication was going down hill pretty fast but we definitely knew he was asking for everyone to come in the room.  We watched the rest of Wipeout, and then the kids went to bed.  The selfish part of me that night was saying, "God, why did you have to take his voice away."  I really think that was the hardest part for me.  I wanted him to speak as much wisdom to me and the kids as he could, but I had to accept how it was and know what he was thinking in his heart.
Waiting for the inevitable to happen was not easy either...waiting on God's timing to take him home to heaven.  I knew his time was through and I had no things left undone to say to daddy.  I had spent the last three months having some great conversations and times with him that I will never forget.  I know God had a plan in letting us live here for the last 8 months.  I tell my kids everyday to be thankful that they could spent papa's last days right here with him.  They loved going to see Papa at the hospice house, even though daddy got less and less responsive to them.  They have lots of great memories and times spent and shared with Papa that they will never forget (I hope).  I had the privilege of staying the last night with daddy.  Something in my heart told me to stay.  I sent mom across the hall to sleep and I laid there and listened to daddy breathe.  The nurse came in around 5am to take his vitals and his blood pressure was 75/45, she didn't say much and I somehow managed to finally doze off to sleep.  Mom came across the hall around 7am and said, "Erin, I think he's gone."  Sure enough, he wasn't breathing anymore....we called the nurse in and it was confirmed.  It was so peaceful.  Everyone had been there the night before to give their love, our former pastor from TX and dear family friend had even been by and shared some thoughts about daddy and heaven before we went to bed that night.  I can't help but think that was where daddy's mind was.  All I know is that the moment he breathed his last breath we was perfect.  No more cancer, no more coughing, no more pain or suffering!  The selfish part of me doesn't want him so far away...but the loving part of me knows that he is more alive than ever.
So somehow all of this was part of God's big plan that just keeps unfolding to Sam and I.  The weeks and days before daddy's death I kept thinking all these thoughts about being away in Chicago and something happening....and I got to be right there with him in the same room when it all happened.  I have learned so much from watching my mom tirelessly take care of daddy from day one.  No one was ever so dedicated to my daddy.  That will be forever etched in my mind.


  1. Praise the Lord for the precious godly testimony that comes forth from these beautifully written words! I am still praying for you and you dear family!

    Reneé Heising

  2. You and your mom have shown an enormous amount of courage through this entire ordeal. No one will ever know the difficulties you have encountered leading up to the Lord's timing and decision to relieve Bob of all his suffering. And he was able to communicate the message God was sending him knowing the end of his suffering was near which had to be comforting to the family. Easy to see how sweet the reunion will be someday. May God teach each of you how to handle the days ahead with grace. May your loss be used to lead some poor lost sinner to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

    Jim & Joan Darnell

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience, Erin. I know how hard it was for you. It was very similar with my mom. I also have a very good idea of how well your mom took care of Bob. She was so good to my mom when she was sick. I'll never forget the kindness she showed. You and your family are in my prayers. I'm looking forward to reading more about how God will lead your family in the future.