Choices

September 11, 2008 at 2:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I chose to make this evening all about myself.  Luckily, this worked out well since my husband is having to work quite late tonight, and although I didn’t get home as early as I would have liked, it’s my evening none the less.

I actually started formulating this blog while I was at my Doctor’s appointment for the anixety research.  My mind wanders, all the time (coincidentally, this is a huge sign of anxiety), and it stumbled across a blog I had read earlier in the day, say around 2pm.  This particular blog was about the bloggers upcoming 25th birthday, and this got me thinking.  She is ecstatic about turning 25 and what the future holds for her.  I would link to her blog, so you could see her excitement and her eloquence, but I don’t “know” her and I don’t feel like she would appreciate that.  However, I can’t say the same about my birthday.  My main hangup is probably the fact that I feel I can never enjoy my birthday ever again.  See, my Dad died May 6, 2006… my birthday is May 7th.  That was my 21st birthday and my Dad died.  I was very close with my Dad, I have always thought he was the coolest person ever!  He had lived such a life, his stories were fantastic.  And he loved me more than anything in the world.  I was the one thing he had waited on forever!  He treated me so well and did anything and everything for me.  He was such a great husband and father and he was takend from me.  And naturally I have made the choice to live in pain and to loathe my birthday as it serves as a painful reminder of what I am missing.  I truly feel like part of my heart was ripped out of my body that night.  I can honestly say, that was the worst day of my life.  Never have I felt that pain, and I hope to never feel it again.

I can’t exactly say that my Dad’s death was unexpected (I seem to have gotten a bit sidetracked from my original post, but I feel writing this down is extremely beneficial and necessary, so bare with me).  He had been sick since I can remember.  See, my Dad was basically 51 when I was born and had been smoking since he was a kid.  He never was able to kick that habbit, and that was probably the number 1 cause of his death.  In October 2005 he had a heart attack at home, and I was home alone with him.  But he would not let me call 911.  I knew something was wrong… he had such trouble breathing and he was clearly in pain.  I begged him to let me call, but he refused.  My Dad always was stubborn like that.  When my Mom finally got home from school, I told her what was going on, and she too tried to call 911, but he wouldn’t let her.  She obliged so as not to agitate him.  She did however force him to the Doctor the next day, and he was immediately taken to the hospital.  Tons of tests were run and this and that was done, it’s all a bit fuzzy because I truly believed my Dad was invincible and would overcome it all!  My Dad has been having stomach problems for probably 10 years and he has been to every specialist under the Sun and no one could figure out what was going on.  That was part of why he was in the hospital for well over a week, they were running tests, but naturally came up with nothing.  During his stay, my Grandma, his Mom, died.  The second most painful thing I’ve ever experienced was going into that hospital room and telling my Dad his Mom had died, and there was no way we could get to the funeral in Tennessee.  I think I too died a little that day.  To see your Dad already so weak, and then to drop that bombshell on him, was almost more than I could take.  I can still remember his face, and it kills me.  My Dad was very close to his Mom, and we knew it was coming, but not then.  She was very ill and we had known for almost 2 years she wouldn’t be here much longer.  My Dad never said much about her or her death afterwards.  I know it must have killed him.  And he spent so much time home alone, I can only imagine what ran through his mind.

Tuesday night, right before Thanksgiving, my Dad had a massive heart attack.  I had been asleep, but I could hear commotion in the livingroom.  My Mom had already called 911.  My Dad was sitting in his recliner looking horrible, as one can expect.  I got dressed and moved my car around front so my Mom and I could follow behind as soon as the ambulance left.  Something went wrong.  The ambulance with my Dad in it sat in front of the house for an unGodly amount of time.  That’s when it really hit… it’s bad.  Finally they rushed off, but incredibly we beat them to the hospital.  As soon as they got him in a room, things went crazy.  All sorts of tests were run and it was crazy!  I had to leave the room… they didn’t want me in there for safety reasons.  A Doctor came in.  I can’t for the life of me remember his name, but I thought of him as my Dad’s miracle.  He immediately told us that my Dad had had a massive heart attack and he needed stints ASAP!  He only did 1 at the time, but he had said my Dad needed either 2 or 3, I can’t remember.  He couldn’t be given anesthesia because they figured once he went under he wouldn’t ever wake up again.  My Dad spent Thanksgiving in the hospital.  My Mom spent it at work trying to make up sometime.  I spent half of it in the hospital with Dad and a little bit of it out at Victor’s families house.  He came home sometime in the next week, but we knew he would have to get the additional stints later on.  The miracle Doctor also found tons of blockages in my Dad’s leg and tentatively scheduled surgery for that in June 2006.

Thursday night before Christmas 2005 I heard commotion in the living room.  I had been asleep, but woke suddenly.  My Dad thought he was having another heart attack.  My Mom had called 911 and things were off again.  I don’t remember much from this eperience because it didn’t seem that bad.  Luckily, my Dad wasn’t having another heart attack, he just couldn’t breathe.  He had actually made the statement at home that this time was worse than the other times.  We find out he had COPD and emphsyema (though we had susepcted that).  My Dad ended up spending almost all day Christmas in the hospital, but they did release him in time for presents.  That was by far the worst Christmas ever.  I was all alone Christmas Eve wrapping presents and balling my eyes out at the same time. 

Spring forward to February, it was time for the additional stint surgery.  Things went good.  He was put in a twilight sleep, but was busy talking away while the surgery was going on.  Things seemed to be going good.  I finally got a job April 24 that I was to start May 1.  I ended up with a really bad ear infection that weekend and I had to go to the Minor Emergency Clinic and get a shot and medicine.  I remember being angry at my Dad for not coming with my Mom to meet Victor and I at the Doctor.  I knew my Dad hadn’t been feeling well.  He had been having trouble going to the bathroom.  I believe Sunday he was unable to keep any food down.  May 1, my first day at my job, I had to work late and missed one of my classes.  My Dad called worried about me.  This is one of the last memories I have of my Dad.  I didn’t get home until after 10 and my Dad was already in bed.  I said my usual bye to him Tuesday morning.  When I called at lunch time, my Mom told me he was being admitted to the hospital.  She had taken him to the Doctor that morning because he wasn’t able to use the bathroom and couldn’t keep anything down.  I got a little panicked.  But I went on with work.  I think I let some people know, just incase I needed to leave or something.  That night I went to the hospital.  My Mom met me in the front because I didn’t know where he was at.  I had brought him some leftover chicken from Chick-Fil-A as a treat.  Before we went up my Mom told me his kidneys had failed.  I was lost.  What does this mean?  I figured it could be fixed, and that was the least of our worries, right?!  They were running a battery of tests and they finally found out what his stomach problems were.  Part of his intestines had scarring and had knotted and such.  That needed to be fixed ASAP.  We sat and watched Big Momma’s House for awhile, but we had to leave.  His surgery was scheduled for 4pm Wednesday I believe.  I called often and I even got to talk to my Dad some.  For some odd reason, I wasn’t too worried about the surgery, even though they had to put him completely under.  My Dad was invincible, remember.  The surgery took along time.  People updated us and said he was doing good.  They finally finished around 6 or 7 and we got to briefly see him in recovery.  Oh my God… that wasn’t my Dad.  What I saw reminded me of my Grandma the last time we saw her, he wasn’t the same man.  He had aged so much and he looked so bad.  He mumbled something and they told us to go up to ICU and sit in the waiting room as he would be up there shortly.  We sat up there for 2 hours waiting on him to get up there.  I still don’t know what went on.  I was exhuasted and so was my Mom, but we waited and waited.  We had to tell him bye and let him know we loved him.  The next two days he wasn’t very concious.  He was on morphine and not very communicative, as you can expect after major surgery.  They said everything was coming along fine and he could possibly be out by my birthday or the day after. 

Saturday I had to go up to school super early in the morning to take my finals.  Afterwards I went to the hospital to see my Daddy.  He seemed more awake and alert.  He was talking and communicating really well.  He kept pushing the morphine button, and for some reason this was funny and cute.  I can’t remember why… I think he thought it was something else, or something, but my Mom and I got a giggle.  My Mom and I left to go apartment hunting.  I was moving out on my own (again) but needed to find an apartment in my price range.  We finally found one not too far from the hospital and I was super excited!  My Mom dropped me back off at the hosptial as she had to get to Cedar Hill – we were in Las Colinas- to pick up my birthday cake.  It was raining.  She came back and we sat and talked.  I tried showing him the floorplan and talking about the apartment, but he was getting tired.  Around 5 or 6 he told us to head home before it got dark.  We didn’t really quetion since we didn’t want to agitate, but it was May and we still had a ways to go before it got dark.  We figured he was being his normal paranoid self, he always worried so much about it.  We couldn’t give him an actualy kiss.  The way the bed was set up, we couldn’t reach, so I kissed my hand and put it to him.  That was the last time I saw my Dad alive.  We hurried home because Victor was going to take me somewhere special for dinner.  I took a shower when I got home.  I was getting ready and my cell phone rang.  I didn’t know the number but I answered it.  They asked me if I was my Mom, I said no, but I’m her daughter.  They told me we needed to get back to the hospital as soon as possible, my Dad was aspirating.  I immediately started crying and asked if he was going to be OK… they wouldn’t answer, just told me to get there soon.  I was hysterical and couldn’t get it all out to my Mom so I ran to get dressed and the whole time I was saying to myself he would be OK, he would be OK, he couldn’t leave me.  I know Victor was there.  I ran back out and my Mom had grabbed my phone and called them back.  I could tell from her face and her voice things weren’t good.  I asked Victor what she had said because she was still on the phone.  I ran and sat on the couch beside her.  She hung up the phone and was crying.  She told me he had died.  I screamed and kicked the coffee table… I think I fell on the floor at some point.  I didn’t even know what to do.  We needed to get there to him.  My Mom was hysterical.  Just thinking about her on that day kills me, because as competely heart-broken and devastated as I was, I was so incredibly worried about my Mom.  She insisted on driving, but I wouldn’t let her.  I tried to make her laugh on the way there, because clearly this was a mistake.  She had called her sister, whom she hadn’t spoken too in years (her and my Dad didn’t get along) and they were going to meet us up there.  I remember Victor had called his Mom while we were still at home.  She wanted to talk to me, but I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  I know I talked to her at some point, but I don’t think it was until after we got home.  I remember he went into my room to call her… he had a few tears in his eyes.  Anyways, we finally made it to the hospital, it took awhile because we lived in Duncanville at the time.  I was shaking I was so scared to go into that hospital and see my Dad for the last time.  We were silent as death.  That elevator ride up to the ICU was hours long and I was absoultely terrified.  The doors opened and I saw the nurse… she was his nurse.  We had met her earlier.  She had called my Dad Sunshine.  When I saw her and she started walking towards us, I lost it.  I didn’t care that there were people around, my Dad was dead and I was going to see him for the last time and alls he would ever be was a memory.  I cried and cried.  She hugged me and said she was so sorry.  They took us into his room.  It was dark and the doors and been closed and the curtains drawn.  There were no beeps, just dead silence.  And there he was.  He was laying in the bed.  They had him covered up.  His arms were so bruised.  There was dried blood coming from his nose.  I wouldn’t say he looked peaceful, but he didn’t look horrible either.  I didn’t even know what to do.  I held his hand and rubbed his arm.  I gave him a kiss on the forehead.  I remember not ever wanting to leave that room because it would mean he was gone from me forever.  I don’t remember a lot.  I just was talking to him in my head over and over again.  My aunt, uncle, and 3 cousins showed up.  They came in the room and gave my Mom and I hugs.  I know Victor was there, but he was somewhat in the background.  They stayed in there for awhile.  One of his doctors came in and said she was sorry.  She asked if we wanted an autopsy done, we declined.  She said a prayer with us and was gone.  The others left the room and my Mom and I visited with him.  Then we each let the other have some alone time.  Then we were all back in there together.  I know at some point my Mom and I noticed his feet were uncovered and he was missing a sock.  We covered his feet up because he hated having cold feet.  I took the missing sock and have kept it in my pocket or under my pillow at all times since then.  We finally left, I wanted to because I knew he wouldn’t want all those people in there staring at him.  We all went back to our house.  I didn’t want to be alone.  I have never cried so hard in my life.  Pretty soon, the rest of the family left after visiting with us for awhile, except my Aunt.  She stayed to be with my Mom.  We made a McDonalds run because none of us had eaten in awhile.  I had a HORRIBLE headache.  I got a McFlurry that I never touched.  I could hardly breathe out of my nose from all the crying.  At some point we finally went to bed.  Victor stayed and slept in my bed with me.  Oddly enough, I have never slept as good as I did that night.  I slept very deeply and never woke up once.  I had the sock in my hand and never let it go.

And I spent my birthday planning my Dad’s funeral.  He was cremeated and buried at the Dallas Ft. Worth National Cemetery for those who have been in the service.  And I miss him so much.

This is honestly the first time I have thought about my Dad in a long time.  I don’t think about him to keep myself from falling apart.  Maybe one day I can think about him and not bust into tears.  Maybe this blog will help me.  I apologize for the length.  Honestly, I started out writing a blog about how I need to change my view of his death.  But, after seeing the length, I can’t touch on that right now.  I guess I made the choice to work on some mental healing :).  To those of you brave enough to read through all of this, I applaud you.

To my Dad: you are the best Father who ever walked this planet.  I can only hope to be half the person you were.  I love you so incredibly much, even though at times you must think I have forgotten you.  Please know you are in my heart every day!  You are my hero and I will forever miss you.  I love you.

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