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Monday, November 24, 2008

One Month Ago...

This is a guest post written by the Husband about his father's last few months. As many of you know, the Husband visited his parents one month ago in order to see his father one last time. This coming Saturday, he will say his final goodbyes at his father's funeral service. I'll share with you the Husband's words from that service early next week. Today's post, however, is from events that occurred last month.

I'm standing in the corner of the room, not because I want to be there, but because the room is too small. I try to awkwardly fit into the corner so as to feel and appear less obtrusive. The room is quiet. We are waiting.

The man walks in, striding with purpose, as if he's done this a thousand times before. He's carrying a thick manila file folder. There are a few lose sheets on top. I've not met him before, so he shakes my hand firmly and sits down to face us. I remain standing as there are only three chairs in the room.

The man has a lazy eye - one eye looking at me, the other looking at my father. I'm strangely comforted by this as I feel he's talking to me when he's not actually talking to me. I stand there, not breathing, not moving. Time stands still for several moments.

"It's time," he says. "You have fought the good fight, you've beaten great odds just to make it this far. It's time. It's time to be comfortable with what you have left."

"How long do you think I have?" my father asks him.

"To Thanksgiving will be a challenge," he says. "And Christmas is a long, long ways away."

For the first time in many days and weeks and months, my father exhales freely, a visible weight evaporating from his shoulders. My father is relieved. Relieved to know. Relieved to have some kind of time line. Relieved to receive approval from someone who knows that it's okay to stop fighting... it's okay to relax inside this new reality.

The stress of the unknown can be such a tremendous burden.

"I've got someone from my staff already calling hospice for you," he says. "There's nothing more that we can do. It's time for you to be comfortable again."

I listened to that conversation with the oncologist one month ago. And now my father's suffering is over. He is comfortable again. He is with Jesus.

34 comments:

Aunt LoLo said...

What a blessing for your husband to have had that experience - to have had that "permission" with him. God bless! Grandpa is comfortable now.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How good for you and for your dad that you were with him at that moment. I can feel his relief through your writing. What a beautiful post.

happygeek said...

So glad that your dad is comfortable again.

Georgia Peach said...

We are praying for you, my friends. TH, I'll let Big Apple know about your dad's passing - he's been praying too. Sending big, big hugs.

Love,
Peach

Cheri H said...

Hugs to you all. We will be praying you through this time.

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, he's in perfect peace! And I hope that brings you some peace too.

Lisa Cairney said...

Beautifully written post and also a beautiful reflection on your love and loss and also your assurance and comfort in knowing your father is finally at home, healed in every way possible by the One who loves him best. Thank you for sharing it, TM and TM's Husband. I really appreciated it...praying for God's strength and comfort to surround you this week.

OH MY #6 said...

I have chills. Awesome, outstanding and brave, does not do this justice.

My heart goes out to you all.

Lea
xo

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post.....I am glad that your husband was there to see this....I am sure it gave him some sense of comfort to see the relief in his fathers eyes.

Blessings to you all!

Lisa

discombobulated said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post. During your hard times when you miss him the most I hope you are comforted by his smiling face like in the picture below with Piglet and by the last 3 beautiful sentences in your post. hugs and love to you, TM, and Tongginator.

goodfountain said...

I too am sorry for your loss. Your post was very touching and moved me to tears. I shall not soon forget it.

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

I've prayed for your family this week. And as hard as it is for those left here, your father is in the best place now!

Shannon

Becky said...

"For the first time in many days and weeks and months, my father exhales freely, a visible weight evaporating from his shoulders."

Beautiful line. Heartbreaking, but beautiful. I'm glad your husband was able to have this experience.

Briana's Mom said...

There really are no words. I am so deeply touched...

Heather said...

It seems odd to call a post like this beautiful, but it is.

Peace to all of you during this time.

Peanut said...

Wow! What an honor for you to have been there. Ivan imagine it must have given you some peace to see the relief your dad felt.
As a nurse, I've been with patients as they have received their diagnosis after surgery, but never when the doctors say it's time to stop fighting. I have to say that this doctor did an excellent job breaking the news.
Peace and comfort to your family at this time.

Beachy Mimi said...

Blessings to your family during this time. I am so glad you got to see your dad that month before. Praying for all of you.

Valarie Lea said...

I am so sorry, this is such a hard thing to have to go through.

prechrswife said...

Such a precious post. Praying for you during this difficult time.

Polar Bear said...

Beautiful post.
I am so very sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Stacy

Beverly said...

I am so sorry for your loss!!

Michelle said...

TM and TMH,
I have been on vacation for the past week and I have not been able to post. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. This post brought back an overwhelming amount of tears and emotions, as this was my reality last year, when I lost my own father after a very good fight. My thoughts are with you. My prayers are with you.

Love and hugs,
Michelle

Sharie said...

I am crying for you all now...those conflicting feelings of being relieved the suffering is over, and yet the sadness of knowing you'll never see him again on this earth. My heart is with you this week.
Share

Jennifer said...

I am so glad you were with your father for this conversation. My thoughts and prayers are with you and you family.

Take care,

Jen

Shawnstribe said...

(((((HUGS)))))
xxx
s

kia (good enough mama) said...

I've been there. In every way, I've been there. It's not easy, but you will get through this. It'll never stop hurting, but it might eventually hurt less. Take care, friend(s).

Quirky Mom said...

I can't stop crying. I'm so glad to know that he died comfortable, and that he had that wonderful relief.

Elizabeth Channel said...

Something about that line "It's time to be comfortable again" reminds me of how are are not at home here, truly. This line will echo with me for a while. Thank you.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Hugs to you all...

Debz said...

Simply beautiful post....simply beautiful.
I pray his memory be found in the little things....and you catch yourself smiling.
Sounds like he was a very content man. At peace with his soul. Bless you as all the firsts pass by....

Meredith Teagarden said...

I am hardly able to see to write. May you be comforted in this season by the one with whom your father now waits for you, our Jesus.

Monica said...

What a blessing that your husband's father had the freedom to let go...the freedom to rest from his struggling... What a blessing that his son was there with him in that moment when he heard that it was okay to finally rest from his struggling to live.

gritandglory.com said...

i'm so sorry for your loss... and at the same time, so grateful you chose to share your heart with us...

Mommy Cracked said...

This is just beautiul. I'm so sorry.