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Tuesday, 19 June 2012 19:59

Happy Father's Day Weekend... Sad Story alert.

I promise I will get back to the 'is this baby a boy or a girl' thing, but I must seque momentarily as our weekend was a little bit... well...

On Saturday, Brian played the piano in his uncle's wedding which was about half an hour out of town.  It was a great day, but the wedding was short, and by 6:30pm everyone was packing up to go home.  In the area I live in, 'Mennonite' weddings don't have dances, so we all just ate and were going to leave.

Brian handed me my cell phone at 6:30, saying that my Mom had been trying to reach me and had left a message saying to call her back immediately.

Not good.

I called.  She was in tears.  She told me that my Dad had taken another 'turn' for the worse, and the nurse had said he wouldn't expect him to survive the night as he was.  I cried, and told her I loved her and that I'd be there as soon as I could.

Brian and I left Clara with his parents and drove as fast as we could - reasonably - back to the city.

On our way, I learned that my Dad's 'little' sister from another province was hopping a flight and would also be with us in a few hours.

A couple of years ago, I was at the deathbed of my husband's Grandpa after the family had been called around him.  My Dad looked exactly the same as he had then.  My Dad was completely motionless, except for the machine-like breathing that came at jerky but regular intervals.  He was not moving at all.  He didn't open his eyes, and he was making no noises except for the sound of his breath, which also sounded mechanical. 

There were a number of reasons the nurses said he could not survive long and from that moment we posted vigil at his bedside.  Waiting.

My aunt showed up at almost midnight and my Dad's other brother came then as well.

He survived that night.

The next day was Father's Day.  We had initially planned to be at the home with my Dad and were going to have a meal together - even though he isn't able to actually 'eat', we try to surround him as much as possible for the company and entertainment.  It wasn't the 'happy' Father's Day we would have liked it to be.

In between getting our food, my Mom and I stayed beside Dad as much as possible.  I was alone in the room with Brian when my other uncle came in.  Now, I understand that everyone is feeling emotional and that everyone deals with this sort of stress differently, but I don't believe this fact excuses all behaviour.  My Uncle informed me that the choices made regarding my Dad's care were wrong and that he would be better off if different choices were made for him.  I politely said I disagreed, but that it didn't really matter.  He went on to essentially blame me and my Mom for my Dad's current state, saying that he hoped 'someone felt guilty' because not enough was done in the beginning to help my Dad.

My Dad believed from the beginning that the doctor's were doing everything they knew how.  He remained convinced of this, and so have we.  I don't believe we could honour his wishes any more than to respect the way he would have handled things.  Ultimately, though - it doesn't matter.  Whatever has been done has been done.

I told my uncle that his anger did nothing but hurt himself, and me - and I pointedly told him that I didn't really think I needed that while waiting for my Dad to die - and everyone else in the family.  I know that my uncle doesn't want to hurt me.  I don't think he actually wants to hurt anyone, but he has been feeding everyone in our family with hurtful thoughts and emotions, and I am so beyond sick of it.  We both managed to stay relatively calm, and after a few minutes of silence my uncle started to reminisce about when my Dad was a child.  This was a good thing.  This is a good way to think.

That evening my Dad started responding slightly.  If anyone spoke loudly while standing close to him, his eyes would open for a split second, like he had been startled. 

The next day he woke up.

He opened his eyes and looked around.  He wanted to be put into his chair again.  He moved his body at least as much as he had been able to move it a couple of weeks ago.  Again, he did exactly what the doctor's didn't expect him to do.  Because that seems to be what he does.

I have no idea what to think of all this, except that the next time I'm told my Dad is dying I will probably be even more skeptical than I was this time. (Because, honestly, by the end of the first night I started thinking this wasn't 'it' after all...).  I really want this to all be over for him, but so far he's not letting go... yet.

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