Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'd Done A Lot Of Things Different.....

It's been almost 3 1/2 weeks since my daddy died, and I still feel as though I am living in some sort of altered reality! I know it is going to get worse before it gets better. I know that when the fact that my daddy is gone truly sets in, I am going to break down and maybe even lose it for a little while. I know that's normal. I know there is a natural grieving process and that everyone handles it differently. I want to help my family grieve. I think we all want to help each other. I want to, but I am having a hard enough time trying to grieve all by myself. I've always been one of the strong ones. It is not in my nature to give up or let myself stay down for long. That is why my battle with depression and anxiety angers me so much! It keeps me from being in control, and those who know me can tell you, I do NOT like not being in control.

I didn't think I was going to feel the angry emotion. I am NOT angry with God for taking my daddy! He had a purpose for taking him. I know that. God needed him for something bigger than I will ever understand. Or maybe God just didn't want one of His children to suffer any longer. But I AM angry sometimes ~ the selfish part of me that almost goes to pick up the phone to call my daddy just to remember that he isn't there to call. I can't bring myself to delete his cell phone number from my address book in my cell phone. To delete that number would be to accept that he is gone, and I can't do that yet.

We played this song at my father's funeral. It was one of three songs that we thought he would have wanted:

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, you work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and Son

And this song.....Well, sometimes, I tell myself that I wouldn't change anything in my life because those things have made me who I am. But you know what?! I WOULD have done some things different if I had known ahead of time that my daddy was going to die so soon!

I’d spent a lot more time out in the pouring rain without an umbrella
Covering my head
And I’d stood up to that bully when he pushed and called me names
But I was too afraid
And I’d gone on and saw Elvis that night he came to town
Mama said I couldn't
And I'd went skinny dipping with Jenny Carson that time she dared me to
But I didn't
Oh I, I’d done a lot of things different
I wish I’d spent more time with my dad when he was alive Now I don't have the chance
And I wish I'd told my brother how much I loved him before he went off to war
But I just shook his hand
I wish I’d gone to church on Sunday morning when my grandma begged me to
But I was afraid of God
I wish I would of listened when they said boy you're gonna wish you hadn't
But I wouldn't
Oh I, I’d done a lot of things different

People say they wouldn't change a thing
Even if they could
Oh but I would

There was this red dress she wanted one time so bad she could taste it
I shoulda bought it, but I didn't
She wanted to paint our bedroom yellow and trim it in blues and greens
But I wouldn't let her, it wouldn't of hurt nothing
She loved, to be held and kissed and touched
But I didn't do it, not nearly enough
And If I’d had known that dance was gonna be our last dance
I'd asked that band to play on and on, on and on
Oh I, I’d done a lot of things different

People say they wouldn't change a thing
Even if they could
Oh but I would, ooh

Oh I, I’d done a lot of things different
Oh I, I’d done a lot of things

I think we'd all do a lot of things different.

My sister, Robyn, wrote a blog today that broke my heart.....On one hand, it broke my heart because I am not physically there for her. On the other hand, it broke my heart because I feel the EXACT same things she is feeling. This was my reply to her:

Robyn.....I am right there with you wondering....What if? What if we HAD allowed the doctors to rescusitate Daddy?! But we both know the answer to this question. Daddy wouldn't have wanted to live that way...hooked up to life support indefintely...He was SO tired of hurting! I know what you mean about not wanting to start crying because you might not stop. I miss Daddy SO much, and you know what? We ALWAYS will! Not a day will go by that we won't think of him. You ALSO know that God doesn't make mistakes. It was Daddy's time to go. Nothing that we decided, and nothing that those doctors did was going to change God's plans for Daddy! So, what we have to do, is realize that Daddy is home with God and the angels and he isn't sad or crying or hurting. He is dancing on the streets of gold and praising God that his neck no longer hurts and his head no longer hurts and he's not throwing up blood anymore! And he's watching over us in Heaven with MeMa and praying for us every second. Because you know what Daddy wants now?! He wants each and every one of us to join them in Heaven one day! We will grieve because we are Human, and that is what Humans do! But every time I feel sad, I remind myself that my daddy isn't sad anymore! I take comfort in that! You can, too! I LOVE YOU!

Yet as I tell her I TRULY believe what I am saying?! YES, I do! Maybe not EVERY second of every day, but I DO believe it! Sometimes, when I am at my lowest, I drop to my knees and BEG for a sign from my MeMa that everything is going to be okay, that I am going to get through whatever it is that I am upset about.....For those of you that don't know....My MeMa came to me in a dream a few years back when I was going through a HORRIBLE time in my life, and told me that everything was going to be all right. And when I woke up, I KNEW it was going to be all right. I felt that way when she was alive. If she told me something was going to be all right, I believed it ~ NO QUESTIONS ASKED! So, why do I have such a hard time believing now that she & my daddy are gone?! It's because I am Human, and I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself that GOD IS IN CONTROL! Also, it's because I am still grieving for them both! I WANT them to be here with me, to hold me when I'm sad, to pray for me when I don't know what to do...But they ARE praying for me! The body might be gone, but the soul IS NOT!

We NEVER, NEVER know when someone is going to be taken from us! There is not enough time for people to behave childishly and try to bring other people down. We should be praying for each other, show genuine concern for each other, and love each other. If we can't do that, then we shouldn't be in that person's life. You need to let the people you love KNOW you love them every single day! Even if someone is a stranger, sometimes just giving them a smile as you pass them by may make all the world in their lives!! I am so grateful that my daddy knew how much I loved him & that I was coming as fast as I could to be with him before he died. It was NOT expected! He had been in poor health for years, be we never in a million years thought that he was sick to the point that he would be taken from us so soon! I know that God has a plan for us all even when we cannot understand it! So, take heart in that! Hold tight to God and you let those that cannot take you for who you are and are there to only cause issue in your life go! Life is too short!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

RIP Daddy! May 28, 1950 ~ February 2, 2009

Last night @ approximately 11:08 PM EST, my daddy left this world with his family by his side! My son, Brandon, was in his room...talking to him, reading him a Bible verse...he came out & said that my father's heart kept stopping for long periods of time and that we needed to get in there. I walked as fast as I could with him and we were the first two in his room. I stared at the monitor and could see the triangle and then the straight line that went on and on and then a triangle and a long, long line and then a triangle and a line......and then he was gone.

My sisters & I, my son, Brandon, two of my dad's brothers, my sisters fiance Grant, my sister Robyn's husband Kevin......My cousin Jeffrey.....if I left anyone out...I'm sorry.....were in the room. I knew one day he would die....I just never thought it would be now.

I go back and forth between numb & sadness & then numb again. I am not angry. I know that he is in a better place now. He doesn't hurt. He isn't sad. He is with the Lord, with my baby cousin, Jeffrey who I never knew; with my cousin, Jana; with my MeMa. I keep thinking it's just a dream, and I'm going to wake up, and he's going to be there....but he's not.

I keep thinking back in my mind to all the good things I can remember about him. How goofy he was when he felt good, how much he loved Duke Basketball, how he would eat these pink candy lozenges and how we would beg for them, how he would bring me these little plastic containers of candy when he would come home from work when I was a little girl, how he would take Brandon to all of the Bunn football games when he was little, how he always loved Ginger Ale, his silly faces, when he came to my work with a brand new, red Toyota many things.

I am trying not to think about the bad things or how much my heart hurts right now, and it's 3:15 AM EST and I cannot sleep even though I have tried.....So, I write...

When myself & my sisters, Lori & Robyn, got to the hospital yesterday, my sister, Heather was already there. She told us that he was being weaned off of one of the meds they were giving him to keep his blood pressure up and that they were going to take him off of sedation meds to see if he had any brain function, but that it would be quick. We went in to see him, and he was stable, but no better. The next time I went in there things had changed drastically. We were told that he had dangerous levels of Potassium in his body. His heart rate was erratic, his BP had dropped, his pulse rate had dropped and his temperature had dropped. They put a warming blanket on him and added Calcium to his meds to try to counteract the Potassium. His nurse was very blunt with us and told us that if this didn't work, there was nothing else they were going to be able to do for him and it would just be a matter of time, and he would be gone. They had to add a BP med back and were having to do it every 15 minutes (again, a very bad sign) and before I left the room, the nurse had doubled the dosage. They were able to start trying to draw fluid off of him with the dialysis machine in the hope that his kidneys would start working again, but it never got to that point.

After he was gone, the doctor told us that because they could not determine what caused my daddy to die, there would be a mandatory autopsy that would take 24-48 hours. This is not due to the fact that they suspect foul play. It is due to the fact that they had to make sure no infectious diseases were involved, etc. I didn't want an autopsy done, but since I didn't have to make that decision, in a way I am glad. It isn't going to bring my father back, but at least if they can determine what caused him to deteriorate so quickly, maybe I can find some sort of peace & closure in the knowledge.

I am thankful that my sisters and I never had to make the decision to take my daddy off of life support. I am thankful that we didn't have to decide whether or not to have an autopsy performed. God spared us of that burden, and now we can grieve and gather our memories and think about my dad during the good times.

A Bible verse keep coming to my mind, and I want to share it with you:

The LORD Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Where we stand with my daddy...

I missed my first flight into North Carolina yesterday, due to a combination of exhaustion and a miscalculation in the amount of time it takes to get to the Denver airport. I was put on standby and made the flight from Denver to Dallas Ft. Worth. I waited for about 2 hours and then was able to make the flight from Dallas Ft. Worth to RDU in Raleigh/Durham. I arrived at the hospital to see my dad around 6:30 PM EST.

I had somewhat tried to prepare myself for the way my dad was going to look hooked up to life support and with all the swelling from his kidneys and liver not working, but there is no way that I could have been completely prepared for that. I cried so hard that I was shaking!

Where we stand right now...My daddy is completed sedated. They do not know whether or not he has any kind of brain function, and are not going to take him off of the medication to find out. They feel that it would be too painful for him and just not right. He was talking up until Saturday and showing signs of at least somewhat understanding what was going on around him. He has no kidney or liver function at all. The fluid in his body is coming out of any pore in his body that it can come out of because it has no where to go. His fingers and toes are beginning to turn black from lack of oxygen. The doctor called my sisters into the conference room in the back at around 1:20 PM. He informed us that we needed to make a decision as far as whether or not to rescusitate my daddy. We chose not to, because we just don't feel that he would want that. He says that there is no sign of heart disease and that at this point, he doesn't think his heart is going to stop, but that with his other organs not working, eventually his body is going to say enough is enough and his heart is going to stop.

In another day or two, the doctor will know which way this thing is going to go. He told us that eventually we may have to decide whether or not to take him off of life support. I am still trying to have hope, but the doctor said that even if he were to make a full recovery, which at this point, is highly unlikely, he would lose a couple of fingers and toes AT THE VERY LEAST!

I know that God is watching over him and that while we may not understand why this is happening, there is a purpose for it. I may never know what that purpose is. Seeing my daddy like this is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. He just doesn't look like my daddy! Every time I go back to see him, it is harder than the last time. He is much more swollen and they cannot do much about it because he is still on blood pressure medicine, which is adding to the swelling that is also coming from his liver and kidneys not working. Again, I appreciate all of the prayers, and my cell phone is not working in the CCU waiting room. So, if you are trying to get hold of me and you can't, this is why!
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