Posts Tagged ‘hospice’

Feeling Satisfied

*****2013 has been a remarkable year. It started off with uncertainty and became more difficult as the year progressed. A pivotal moment came when my Dad decided to forego his cancer treatment and opted to go under the care of hospice. Knowing there would be difficult days ahead, I girded myself to deal with what was to come. Fortunately, not everything was gloom and doom. I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some great hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Those trips allowed me to forget reality for a little while and be completely enamored and recharged by the beauty of nature. It felt good to forget even for a short time. The summer was tough and I was homebound along with my Dad. It was during that time I realized hospice nurses are angels in disguise. They were often times my only visitor. The only constant I could depend on. As the days progressed, I felt the prayers of family and friends give me strength. In those final moments of my Dad’s life, I held his hand as he passed from this life to the next and I could rejoice not in what I had lost, but in the gift I was given. He was not perfect by any definition, but so much more than others had been given. When I spoke of him as a father during the services, it was easy to start from my earliest memory of him and trace his presence in my life all along the way. I am a better person for having been his daughter. He was the source of my quiet dedication, my resilience and my grace.

    I sit here the day after Christmas as shoppers make their mad dash for holiday deals and I am comforted by feelings of satisfaction. For so long, I was always trying to “get, get, get.” Whether it be some new experience on some material thing, I never felt satisfied. There was always wanting, always some desire to propel me forward, but not anymore. I looked in the face of death and came out on the other side. All the things that use to bother me don’t anymore. The pressure cooker of life burned away the impurities of my character. I saw my faults and my weakness for the first time and I was honest with myself. This year has taught me what is important and given me moments of true clarity and moments of breakthrough that I could build upon and take into the New Year. I reject judgment. I reject pettiness. I accept my faults. I accept the faults of others. I am peace. I am light. I am alive.

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Funeral Arrangements

Letting Go

Letting Go

           A week that started with a night of camping to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower got progressively worst.  Thursday morning, I awoke to find my Dad lying on the bathroom floor.  I had no idea how long he had been there.  After much effort, it was clear I would not be able to lift him back on his feet.  Thank God, a fire station is located within our subdivision.  A brief chat with one of the firemen and minutes later they were at my home assisting me in getting my Dad back to bed.  It was his third fall in a matter of weeks.  There was no denying the reality of his illness.  It was time to do what I had been putting off for weeks.  It was time to make his funeral arrangements.  Luckily, I had already done my research and I chose a funeral home that had serviced my family in the past.  I retrieved the folder from my office desk and made the phone call.  Nina, our pre-need advisor was great and faxed me the contracts and within a matter of hours the arrangements were made.  I still had one more phone call to make.  It was to a local funeral home that would handle shipping my Dad back to our home town when the time came.  Anthony was great and explained the transport process and the items I needed to provide.  As I drove home, mixed emotions pulled me back and forth.  I was glad that everything had been finalized and grateful that I had the presence of mind to be proactive, but my heart was heavy because I knew the end was near.  I had several other appointments after my visit to the funeral home.  I knew I had to carry on as I will have to carry on in the days ahead.  Scripture tells us that God will not put more on us than we can bare and that His grace is sufficient.  I know one day I would look back on this time and marvel at my composure, but for now I must walk through the fire to reach the other side.

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