The Grief of Today

We have not been able to do much on the posting front.  The following will explain why.

Joyce writes:

Excerpt from my journal:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy Daddy is dying.  I was in this morning to see him.  He didn’t really wake up.  He had Adivan and morphine in the night.  As I left, I kissed him good bye and felt his warm forehead against my lips–perhaps for the last time.  He is my Dad.  He has always been there for me.  No, he hasn’t been a perfect dad, but in his own way he has loved me.  And I have loved him.  He said on a few occasions that  I reminded him of his mother.  What an honor!  Such a special person in his life.  He never spoke anything of her but good.

Daddy is a fighter.  Life has been hard–but he never shrank from the battle.  He’s been battling this pre-cancerous blood disorder for something like four years.  And now it is chronic leukemia.  He has been husband to Mom for 70+ years, and this has been hard.  Now, for approaching a year and a half, he has provided for her care as an Alzheimer’s patient.  She has been mostly in bed.  He said he wanted to live a day longer than Mom–I think to insure her good care, to be faithful to his wife, and perhaps to protect us children from the full blunt force of responsibility.  His was a valiant effort, but finally his body has simply given out.

Last Sunday night was our last extended, meaningful time with Dad.  Janice and I were in the bedroom with him and he asked something like, ” So, what is going to happen?  Am I going to get better or not?”  I said, “Well, Dad, we don’t know.  But perhaps this is the time Jesus is asking you to come and be with Him in heaven.  Are you looking forward to that?”  And he nodded his head.  Janice asked him something about praying and he said, “I have been.”  A little later, Timothy put some of Dad’s pictures from Mexico on the TV (via computer).  It was so wonderful to see Dad light up with recognition at some of the slides.  And he even verbally commented on some.

On Monday afternoon we met with somebody from Hospice, in anticipation of signing up for their services.  One of the things the lady said was, “You don’t want any regrets.”  As I reflected on this, I felt uncomfortable about moving Dad to Hospice care without giving him one more blood transfusion (not allowed under Hospice)–meaning more time for his newest medicine, hydroxyurea, to bring down his white blood cell count.  Also, a chance to get him re-hydated.  So at my request, Janice and Jeannine agreed with me to send Dad to the hospital–to get fluids and blood (also, to give us a couple days to arrange for his care).

He has been there since, but in spite of everything, has continued to deteriorate.  He has now been taken off all medications, except as noted.  He does get oxygen for comfort.  He will move today to the Chemung County Nursing Facility.

I love my Dad.  I am very sad that I must say goodbye.


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6 Responses to The Grief of Today

  1. sarah says:

    Thanks for your words, Mom. You are loved!

  2. lizzie says:

    joyce loves her dad
    and i love my joyce.
    joyce you are so present to what God has right in front of you and honouring your dad in the most wonderful of ways..sounds like God is there every step…
    miss you and praying for you all.

  3. Dennis Probst says:

    Thanks for posting this. We are and will be praying for all of you at this difficult time. May God bless you with a very real sense of His presence and peace.

    Dennis and Priscilla

  4. Dale says:

    Joyce, You said it so well. I have felt it an honor and a privilege to be part of your family for these 31 plus years and have learned so much from John. And, I am eternally grateful for he and Ruby providing me with the perfect wife and best friend I could ever ask for.

  5. Victoria says:

    Wishing you the blessings of the comfort of family and friends. May God bless and keep you in His loving care!

  6. Shirley McMillan says:

    Dear Joyce,

    We are grieving with you and Timothy, and with your sisters, as you await the passing of your dad from this life to his forever home in heaven. I wonder if your mom is aware of what is happening, and I pray God’s comfort for her too. These precious last moments you will hold in your heart and memory forever. May God wrap you warmly in his comfort and peace.

    Shirley McMillan

    Sent from my iPhone

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