As many of you have noticed, I have been absent from the glorious and glamorous blog jet set for quite awhile. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues for sometime that included the death of my father.
In a previous post, I had mentioned that at some point I would discuss what happened and I now think that time has come. This is partially to share an amazing story that still rocks me to this day, but even more to begin the healing process. I guess I should first start with my relationship with my father.
In the early years the only way to put it was rocky. We just did not see eye to eye on the majority of things. My father had already provided for my three siblings and then I came along fourteen years later. This late arrival had to certainly apply a large amount of stress to my fathers life. Along with a crappy job market for store layout designer’s (think an architect for the interior of stores like checkouts, changing rooms and store fixtures) my father’s life was certainly not where he wanted it to be. A very skilled golfer my father was involved with the likes of Snead, Nicklaus, and Weiskopf. He either played golf or worked with these gentleman at one time or another. My father was good, but in a day where payouts were small, he had issues providing for a family.
A few years ago he had to have a knee replaced and it went well. No loss of strength as he continued to play golf on a very regular basis. Then the other knee. This time it was a different story. He lost a lot of strength through this process and it wasn’t much later that we found out about the cancer in his shoulder.
The cancer would go into remission with each new treatment for quite awhile and then come active again until the next treatment took hold. However this last time it didn’t work.
On Christmas Eve the chemo techs at the oncologists didn’t like something they saw and sent my parents to the ER at a nearby hospital. Now please understand that Dad suffered from hyper-calcimia when the cancer was active. It would basically eat the bone and inject the calcium into his blood stream. The calcium would then go to his brain causing dementia like syndromes and to his kidneys causing problems there also. This unfortunately was the case this time. As they worked to stabilize my Dad over the next couple days, he continued to be upbeat although confused the majority of the time.
Finally on the following Monday the Oncologist came and talked to us and gave us the bad news. Dad was to weak for anymore treatments. Essentially there was nothing more they could do. Now this didn’t mean it would happen this time but depending on how he responded to the flushing of the blood stream and hydration treatments he might be fine for awhile. No timeframe was determined.
Things went drastically down hill the next day and that when we were told that Dad would be moved to Palliative Care. This is, for lack of a better term, the pain management center for the terminally ill. On Wednesday I went to work in the AM and was actually planning on taking off early in the afternoon to visit Dad but after a discussion with my sister I decided to hightail it down to the hospital. My brother had already decided to come up from South Carolina to see if there was anything he could but I honestly do believe he felt it to. My father was suffering from something called terminal tremors which is the polite way of saying his body was shutting down.
After getting to the hospital and being headed off by my sister before I walked in (she wanted to warn me) I saw my father suffering from some of these tremors. The nurse came in and applied a rather hefty dose of narcotics and seizure medication (which I endorse wholeheartedly). My mother, sister and I sat there for awhile as the drugs kicked in.
Let me pause to explain on more thing. My father had to be physically and chemically restrained during all this. He was 6’2” and about 200 lbs. AND STRONG. I do NOT condemn the hospital staff for restraining him at all. At one point (when Dad wasn’t thinking right) he tried to bite my face. It was just safer that way.
By the time I had gotten to the hospital the staff had managed to get him to a point where he was only restrained with a tie down vest. As the medicine continued to work my sister held my fathers hand and I held his other and wiped his brow with a cool wash cloth. This is where it gets really difficult for me….I watched my fathers heart slow and finally stop beating. His pulse was readily apparent in his gaunt neck and I watch is get slower and slower until it was no more. My sister and I made I contact and I walked out and told the Doctor what had happened asking him to come in and verify what we saw.
I loved my Dad. We may not have gotten along until much later in his and my years but he was an amazing man and I will miss him every day from henceforth. I could apply all types of meta-physical jargon here considering we are men of faith and Brothers in the Masonic Order (and I did use these with him to make it easier for him to let go and cross over) but it still isn’t fair. It just isn’t fucking easy. Everyone I know is sorry for my loss and I appreciate the feelings but damnit this sucks.
Just know my friends that I love you all no matter your or my idiosyncrasies. I’m learning how to handle this all on my own, not just for myself but for my mother and my daughter and if I appear standoffish or cranky it most likely isn’t you guys right now. The rest of the time it is you but not right now. (jk….not really)
So here we are looking a new year in the face and it is the most important new year ever! Why you ask? Because only us sci-fi geeks will gain true knowledge! 10/10/10 in binary is 101010. Convert that to Base10 and you get 42 and we all know what the answer to everything is! Right Douglas Adams?
Later peeps and make sure you hug your loved ones!