Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Independence Day. After the last forty-eight hours those words will have a whole new meaning.

Today we wait. We wait for test results. We hope. We pray. We reminisce. We hope.

Last night we talked about the pain that Papa has suffered with. We talked about how hard that would be. We tried to prepare ourselves for the worst, all the time hoping for the best.

Sunday morning John's phone rang and we got the news. Papa had suffered a heart attack in the early morning hours. As we got to the emergency room, we were unprepared for the sight of him laying on the gurney, with a respirator sitting with him, helping him to breath.

We learned that the nursing home staff had found him, at approximately 4 am unconscious and in respiratory distress. They began to administer CPR, and in the process of trying to get him breathing again, he went into cardiac arrest. We have no idea of how long his brain was deprived of oxygen. But we hope.

Sunday evening we heard the results of the CT scan and we were pleased that there was no brain injury, mass, or bleeding. We continued to hope. Yet, we knew that the neurological consult would give us more answers.

Today, we hear the news of his lack of response. My heart just broke. As prepared as I thought I was for this outcome, for the possibility of no recovery, hearing that he was unresponsive as they poked and prodded him, I knew that the outcome wouldn't be what we wanted.

Yesterday, July 4th, was supposed to be a time of celebration and joy. It was supposed to be a day of celebrating our nation's struggle to become independent, to celebrate the birth of our government. Instead, it became a celebration of something else.

It became a celebration of life.

48 hours ago, Papa sat in a nursing home waiting for tomorrow when he would return home. 48 hours ago, things were fine. Until a little respiratory problem became a big problem, that led to a heart attack, that led to oxygen deprivation, that led to severe brain damage.

Last night we were given the prognosis. Last night, a son and two daughters made the choice to give their father his independence. They made the choice to send him home. They gave God the freedom for his will to be done.

And today, we wait. We wait for those beautiful moments when God's divine plan will shine through. We wait for those moments when a child will be reunited with the friends and family that have gone before him. We wait for the moment that his spirit is free from his body and that he goes home.

Over the last few weeks we have felt so guilty about the choices that we have made to move out. To move on with building our life. We have struggled with finding peace about the choices we have made.

Yet today as I write this, and as I have had conversations with Papa's beautiful daughters, I have found that peace. I have also seen God at work in all of our lives in ways that I have never seen Him at work before. And that has been beautiful. The duplex that we are renting fell into our laps. It was perfect. Size wise, price wise, location wise. It took days from the time we looked at it, until the lease was signed. Days. The day we signed the lease was the day that we learned that Papa was coming home from the nursing home. Several days later we told him of our departure from his home. And while there were times of strain and tension on our relationship during the 2 weeks that he was home before we moved out, we all tried to make the best out of the situation. We moved out the day after he went back to the nursing home to undergo 2 weeks of rehab and therapy to regain some of the strength that he had lost.

His two weeks was up tomorrow. He was supposed to go home tomorrow. Now I believe that he will go home tomorrow, just not to the one he owns.

There have been so many moments in my life when I have seen God at work. When I have felt his presence, his comfort, his love. There have been times when I have seen his plan revealed and there are times when it has been harder to find. There have been days where I have questioned my faith, and his presence in my life. Yet yesterday I realized that he knew that today was coming. He knew that our lives were going to be turned upside down and our hearts inside out. He knew. He spent the last two weeks helping us to get ready, of finding our home and setting it up. He spent the last two weeks making sure that we wouldn't have to go back to his house and stay there knowing that Papa would never sit in his recliner or walk down the hall or see his babies again. And for that I will always be thankful.

I can imagine that the next few days and weeks will be hard. I can imagine that as we all move forward with our lives that there will be moments of intense sadness and intense joy as we celebrate his life and as we share our memories of him.

Today I'm thankful that God is in charge. Today I'm thankful that he prompted Papa's daughters to come and that they were here yesterday with their big brother and that he had put the idea in there heads a month ago to come here to see their dad this weekend, even though they decided on a date at the end of the month. I'm thankful that our entire family will be able to lean on him and find comfort and peace in the days and weeks to come. I'm thankful that our family has each other.

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