Mere Intention

be vulnerable

Day Two

This morning we went to church. Where my dad played drums in the praise band until he couldn’t. With the people who have loved on my family through this whole ordeal. With people that my dad has directly impacted. 

Then a visit to the funeral home to finalize casket and cremation and viewing and cost details. 

I went shopping for a bit. Alone for the first time. 

When I got back, I offered to fill out the last of the paperwork for the funeral home. Information for my dads death certificate.  

 
And now I’m trying to find a song for the short video of photos that will be played during the service. It’s been years since I’ve been around church music. I’ve listened to dozens…then I played one and lost it. Sobbing. I could remember Dad playing drums for it at church. 

I’ll offer that one.  

 
You see him there in the background watching me? That’s my dad. Always attentive to me. Always engaged.

6:34a

I took another light snooze. At 6a was woken up. Breathing changes. Words to Dad. Songs – 10,000 Reasons and American Pie. 

Deep inhale at the end of American Pie. 

One more inhale at 6:34a. 

That was the last. 

Love. 

Hearing someone you love sob for the one they’re losing is shaking.

Small hours

I slept from 2-3a sitting in a recliner at the corner of dad’s room. When I awoke and went to his bedside, his feet and hands were much cooler than prior to my nap. 

His rattle seems to have ceased and he’s breathing very regularly, though quicker and more shallow than before. 

His heart rate is high. 

Before I slept, I read a prayer aloud and anointed his forehead with oil. 

Nightfall

Bedside. Moments together. Rattling and tears. 

A song I only know from dad playing drums at church – 10,000 reasons – comes on. I like it. CJ says it’s going to be sung at the funeral. We all cuddle in, lay arms and hands and cheeks and let the tears come. 

This song was played at church their first Sunday back after his surgery. She said it really spoke to them both. 

:

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up

It’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass

And whatever lies before me

Let me be singing

When the evening comes

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

You’re rich in love

And You’re slow to anger

Your name is great

And Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness

I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons

For my heart to find

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

Bless You Lord

And on that day

When my strength is failing

The end draws near

And my time has come

Still my soul will

Sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years

And then forevermore

Forevermore

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

I’ll worship Your Holy name

Jesus I will worship Your Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship your holy name

— Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Friday

Nurse came this morning and said the word I was waiting for – transition.

A day of rotating and pain med administration and drops to help with secretions. Of reading and crying together.

How many women can be the most important in a man’s life? His mother. His wife. His daughter. His sister. This is us.

There’s rattling that’s started. No responses. Reality.

16.5 fucking months and we are here.

I’ve never done this before. It’s excruciating. It’s freeing. It’s life shaking. It’s perfect and the worst thing possible.

Truthspeaker

When to get here was the hardest decision. Months ago a hospice nurse told me that when they say he’s in transition it’s time to get here. No one was saying it. All of the signs of the week pointed to it. 

Having a friend in your life who is a truth speaker is divine and invaluable. Someone to call you on your personal bullshit. Someone to say out loud what you can’t. To make things real instead of not being sure of what to do with what is turning in your mind. Someone to give you permission to fuck up, but to challenge you to choose something better, to push you to find your best answer, not just a rationalized response. Someone who will listen.  No judgement. Nothing but real. Brutal. 

I’m grateful. I’m blessed. 

Transition 

  

~Death Be Not Proud, A Memoir : John Gunther : 1949

Goodbye March

Two weeks since I was here to the day. Bought a plane ticket at 11a; fight at 820p bumped to 10p; arrived in Oklahoma at 1220a. 

The first walk in and the last walk out of this house is the hardest thing. I have to take a deep breath and just go into Dad’s space. 

Tonight he responded when I said hello. No words but a change of breath and maybe a groan. He moved his left hand up onto his chest. His hand looks different. He gave a single nod in response to a question CJ asked. His minimal urine output of the last twenty four hours is a dark fluorescent orange. He’s on oxygen via a nasal cannula. His feet are still swollen but not as hot as they’ve been the last few weeks. His hands aren’t warm. His earlobes are kind of protruding straight out due to the swelling of his face and neck. 
He hasn’t eaten since Sunday. He’s barely had anything to drink. Today was a full no-intake day. 

Tuesday morning was the last time he took meds…except for an anti-seizure one that now gets absorbed via his bum. No steroids since Tuesday morning for the brain with a tumor growing in it. No more steroids cold turkey. 

There’s only so much a brain can swell in a skull before it ceases to function. 

So, so hard

It was so hard to leave my dad’s house today. I feel like I’m cutting off a finger every time I leave. 

I have terrible anxiety and bad work days where I’m extremely distracted before a visit and then I can just barely leave. I sat with the kids in the driveway and had to take several deep breaths before I could start the truck. 

If it’s the last time I see him, I’m okay with that. Honestly. On Friday he’s at 16 months post-surgery. Monday was 16 months since the phone call that changed everything and the day I started mourning. 

I’m tired.