Ten years ago today I (along with Mom and Steven) had to make the most difficult decision of our lives to date. We had to agree to let Daddy live out the rest of his days (we didn’t know then how many/few he had left) in a hospice care center. I had no idea at the time what hospice care is, but after doing enough research at home during a lunch break I soon realized just how dire our situation had become. I didn’t want to believe it at the time, but Daddy’s earthly journey was nearly complete and my leadership journey was just beginning.
When we finally talked with the hospice representative at the hospital and signed the papers, I was deeply saddened. I think that was when Daddy realized himself that things weren’t so great. He actually had talked with us individually about 2 or 3 days prior. At that time and that’s probably when he realized he wasn’t returning home with us. That was when he told me to “never quit smiling; you’re my sunshine even when the skies are grey. You make everyone around you so happy; you make me happy. Don’t ever quit smiling!” I told him I wouldn’t, but it would be hard and believe me it is hard and I have done my best to never quit smiling.
We signed the papers and Daddy was being transported to the hospice center via probably ambulance, but I truthfully do not know. I only know that was when I backed into another driver in the hospital parking lot. We agreed that we wouldn’t press charges because “we each have something more important and valuable right now.” I never told Daddy I backed into someone, but there is now a tell-tale sign on my rear bumper and I finally told Steven about only 2 or 3 years ago. Daddy now knows, too (I’m sure).
After we all arrived at the hospice center, one of the first people to greet us in his final room checked out Daddy’s feet and told us “He’s on a journey now; he’s finishing his journey.” I didn’t understand too well at the time, but apparently a lot of people nearing the end of their lives have their feet moving as though they’re walking along a path; they are “traveling home” per se.
Daddy’s first meal was fried chicken “that a guest before him left.” I was too shook up and caught in my own emotions to realize this meant they had died before getting to enjoy their meal. How tragic! 😥
So why am I writing such a sad entry tonight? Well, I figured this might help me with my coping this past week. For the past few days I’ve been rather emotional and sick (I think probably I’ve made myself sick thinking about all that happened in the past decade). I hadn’t been able to keep food down for about 3 or 4 days, but finally Friday I was able to eat some shrimp and mashed cauliflower. I also think it’s time I actually came to terms with everything that has transpired over this past decade. Maybe it’s time to slowly start closing this chapter of my life, finally, and moving on to a new chapter. I’ve been “re-reading” this chapter for far too long and maybe that’s why I’ve been so depressed and unable to get things going or moving forward. It’s time; I also know Daddy wouldn’t want me to keep dwelling on the past. It’s time to move on and finally become who I am supposed to be (whomever that is)!
Please bear with me as I finish this chapter (these next two or three entries) and try my best to finally move on to my next chapter; maybe I’ll even try to finish writing this part of my autobiography into my spiral notebook (even if I can’t type it into the computer yet). Time will tell and perhaps it’s finally time to let my wounds heal. Thanks in advance!
Love and prayers, as always! ❤