Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Yes, I am still on this side of the grass......

Many people have left me messages - especially those not on Facebook, to say.....You okay?  You still on this side of the grass?  Well, yes, I am......unfortunate for you....

So, life was goin' along and the boys were adjusting to new schools, and I was adjusting to driving and in the car 3 hours a day.  Grant's business was doing better, we were going on a family cruise in December since the Alaska Cruise went so well and then, my Dad started coughing during meals. Mom and I thought it was weird and she scheduled an appointment with the doc.  One thing lead to another and, when one of my appointments canceled I decided to show up to my Dad's appointment.  I had a weird feeling.....my Mom has not had to take care of many old people and I thought.....what if they bring out the DNR form???  She had never dealt with this.  I had a few times.  And there is was, "He cannot take anything by mouth."  DNR form in tact.  Doctors covering the butts and trying to help us at the same time.  My Mom was stunned.  I had to help her through every question and I also challenged all the docs.  I was never putting my Dad in the hospital the day before Thanksgiving with this.  That is crap.  He was able to eat.  So we changed his diet.  Doctors did not comply but they let me.  Dad went home.  In December, he got a feeding tube.  He was treated at Judson Park for a while and then Mom and I got trained on the feeding tube and we took him home.  It was exhausting, but he loved being home with the dog.  Then one Friday night he pulled out his feeding tube.  THIS WAS ACTUALLY weird.  He was so careful with it for a month.  We went to the ER at 6pm on a Friday night.  They saw us at 11:00 pm and started firing off questions to us.  CLEARLY, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHO I AM.......I gave them a look and started to speak and they were all quiet.  CLEARLY, THEY ARE TEACHABLE.  My mom had put the tube back in at the house, but unfortunately it did not go where it needed to.  Talk about a trouper!  At that point, my Dad never left the hospital.  He was too weak to do another feeding tube surgery.  They met with him and that one thing that God gives us all is that one moment of clarity......he had it then and they explained everything to him and he said, in his pre dementia state, "I am done."  He knew I didn't want that to be the answer.  We would have had the same chemo, but his would have been easier.....new developments and all.  I had to respect his decision, but I gave all the doctor's a bit of hell for taking so long...  It would not be me if I did not.  My Dad was cared for at St Joe's in Tacoma until he went to Hospice Care in Tacoma. He passed on the 16th of January.  We got to have a great weekend with him and Nolan watched Ride Along II with him the weekend before he died, in his bed, with all the favorite foods (which he coughed up), and my Dad loved it.  Mom was with him the rest of the weekend and when they said my Dad would probably be gone in the next 24/48 hours, I spoke to him from my Mom Cell phone because Nolan was sick and Mason and Grant were at a Hockey Tournament.  I said things to him I had never said.  I said, "I was proud of him and that is why I kept his name.  It wasn't out of disrespect for Grant, but respect for him."  Mom said, "Ang, he heard you.  He tired to get out of bed.  He heard you."  Nolan, my brave second boy, spoke to him too.  I ended with I would be there in the morning.  Morning never came.  At 5:30am on January 16th, he died.  I am sure he did it because he did not want me to come.  His Mom and him were very into, "This is YOUR life.  You take care of your own."  What they don't get, they were my own.  Life has been interesting since......planning a funeral for him is hard and easy.  I think I have it down.  Mom doesn't want to deal until the day.  I know we need to wait for the roads to be clear to Eastern Washington and all that plays in in my head is, "Prop me up against the jute box, when I die....."  The funniest thing that I think has happened is that when Mom, Donna (Mom's sister), and I were all together after his death we talked about our most vivid memory.  Mine - I was turning 10 and he and I LOVED the San Juans.  We went up to Anacortes and there was a small craft advisory, but my Dad turned to me and said, "Let's go now!  We will get out favorite camping spot!"  I was like, "Sure!"  Let's remember....this is how my family rolled....I knew NO DIFFERENT!  As we were going, I was hanging on to the seat, my dog was barfing in his kennel, we were taking on water and Dad was actually getting the life preservers out.....  I thought, "Nine years, that is a good run.  Didn't think I would make it this long...."  My Aunt made mention of a time on our trip IN THE SAME BOAT TO.  ALASKA where she thought we were all going to die...FYI - I was 2 and potty trained for the trip........there was no toilet.....Mom flew us home when we got to Alaska.......and then my Mom said, "I was never really afraid.  I never though we would die......"  Donna and I were like, "BECAUSE YOU FLEW US HOME FROM ALASKA!!!!"  Dad came home by himself.....

So there it is, I am digging out from ignoring EVERYTHING during my Dad illness.  The boys and Grant are doing well, and Mom is adjusting.  Insurance for the cruise was amazing and kind.  We will rebook in the future, after all, "Dad wanted us to go....."

It sure was nice to get away for skiing to Big White.  My family needed it and we found out again, how amazing life can be.

Next time....Mason and moments....


Anonymous said...

"A chip off the old block".....Angie, you are a ROCK, just like Keith....and i am sure he knew that about you, and was super proud of you, too. From a friend, thanks for taking care of him when he needed you most, and for letting him go out as he wanted.

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