My mom noticed these two photos of my dad were very similar. In one, he is holding me when I am four years old. The other, he is holding Rhian between 12 and 18 months old. Similar position and gaze, thirty years apart. Love you Craven. Miss you Craven.
The phone rings. The nurse says your dad says he’s ready. He’s on the phone with your mom right now. I call mom. John, he’s ready. We scramble to get there. On my way to get mom, the nurse calls. He says he wants a hot coffee and ice cream. Dad loved some coffee and ice cream. We arrive at the hospital. I call his best friend and they talk. I call his sisters and they talk. We take turns saying our goodbyes. Mom, her friend Cathy, my mother in law, Gina, Rhian, and finally, me. Smiles, laughs, and tears. We do a final assessment with the doctor. Dad turns to me. I’m ready John. I let the nurse know. The IVs are disconnected. The oxygen is removed. He says a love you. We hold hands. His breathing diminishes. His pulse reduces and at 21:41, he’s at peace in Heaven. Love you dad. May you be restored and enjoy the other side with the Lord.
Woke up with hope this morning. Dad was going to have his surgery. I arrived to pick up my mom and she was in tears. The hospital had called and said the surgery was cancelled. Oxygen levels are too low. A quick conversation with the doctor. Advises me to be my dad’s biggest cheerleader. We visit with him. Sit with him all day. Showing love, support, and compassion. We are told he will move to ICU soon. The lung specialist gives us the new plan. A plan that includes worst case scenarios. He asks what my dad’s wishes are. Advises us there is still hope but we are low on solutions and time. Fortunately, his other major organs are healthy. Then I speak with my dad. We discuss the options and what he wants. He tells me he will keep fighting and he only wants to be on a ventilator for two days if it comes to that. He says he doesn’t think he’s getting better. I tell him I love him. He tells me the same. We pray together. The sun will rise tomorrow. We shall see what the day brings.
The month is bittersweet for me. Layoffs of myself and friends, weather cancelled plans, illness, hospitalizations, and deaths are what come to my mind when I think of the first month of the year. Depressing thoughts as it’s my birth month and I ponder another year of growing older and whether my life has peaked and how much longer I have on the face of the earth. As depressing as it is, it shall pass and soon, February will be here.
Thinking of the future a lot lately. Gina has been talking about simiplifying life lately. She showed me the documentary, “Minimalism” on Saturday morning. It made me angry. Why? This is the type of life I was adamant about living several years ago. I’ve given in to commercialism and materialism. So, in the thinking of the future and minimalism, I have two goals for 2017.
- Find a church home and get involved to get fed spiritually.
- Define how I will live minimalistically and set 12 monthly goals to acheive over the next year to make that change.
That’s it. Thanks to my wife for encouraging me and reminding me of what I wanted.
20161218 @ 20:28
The way he talks and the faces he makes. It’s comical the way he discusses death and criminal cases on “Dateline on ID”.
They don’t happen often but they are memorable. Yesterday, a colleague shared with me how elephants are trained with a chain and peg as babies and it stays with them all of their life. They are chained to a steel peg as a baby so they cannot stray as the chain causes pain and the steel peg is strong enough to hold them. As they age, they are still chained but with a wooden peg. They are strong enough to break the chain from the wooden peg but the fear from their youth prevents them from doing so.
He applied this to me and my life. It had a profound impact. Now, let’s do something about that.