It was hard to get going today. I am having a lot of trouble sleeping, and even though Jim has really taken over the baby for the weekend, I feel absolutely exhausted. I am coming home from hospice with a headache each evening, which I know is nothing compared to what my dad has been through. I am grateful to only have the headache.
My dad seemed weaker today. He was still joking and talking and he seemed very content, but he is drifting in and out of sleep more often and his voice didn’t seem as strong as it did just Friday night. Ann also felt he was running a fever today, which is one of the signs that things are happening as far as the toxins affecting his body.
When I arrived today, Ann’s Aunt Theresa was there with her husband. My father has loved them from the minute he met them, and they made him feel welcome into Ann’s family immediately. Aunt Theresa, just before she left, said something that will stay with me. In commenting on my father’s impending death, she said, “It’s beautiful.” I have heard that when people talk about weddings, Christenings, graduations, but never about someone dying. But she could not have been more correct. What is happening with my father is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong. There is a pain in my heart that I feel I will never recover from. But for my father, this is a beautiful time. There are people in his room just about from the time he wakes up until he has fallen asleep for the night. He is able to tell everyone who has meant something to him that he has loved them and appreciated them for what they have given him in this life. He is able to be embraced by those who have loved him for years and by those who have watched him suffer, and he is convincing us all that this there is no question that he has made the right decision.
Through the day today, after Ann’s aunt and uncle left, he was visited by a friend, Sister Mary Theresa, his friend Pat Zackey, and his friends Richard and Terry. Noelle and her fiance Alvin came and spent some time saying goodbye. When I left, he was surrounded by a room full of people, and the intensity of the love was overwhelming.
He makes everyone feel good while they are there, and as they leave, you can see the pained look come over them. Men as well as women are kissing him and crying as they leave him for what they know will be the last time. But they are all leaving with the same feeling. It’s beautiful.