There are so many feelings in my heart and so many thoughts in my head that I want to share, so I have decided to start by giving an update on my dad. Two weeks ago my dad’s condition went to from stable to unstable in moments. While there aren’t definitive answers as to what has happened it would appear that two things happened within days of each other. One was a urinary tract infection, not a good thing for someone in end stage renal failure, and the other is a stroke. Most of the time they can do scans of the brain to check for these but in the case of my father his renal failure has made this impossible. After a week of caring for him with my mom, brother, and husband the doctors admitted him to the hospital to treat the infection. He ended up having surgery to implant an abdominal catheter. At this time he is home resting, moving, and doing far better than he had been or was expected to do.
I had the amazing honor, alongside my family, of loving and caring for my father for the two weeks he was in “Neverland”. Dad has very little recollection of the last two weeks. My “dad” was not occupying the body, he was childlike, and in my heart I need to believe that during this time he was someplace happy and peaceful. It is for this reason I have decided to call this place Neverland. Neverland is a place where you never grow old and the joys of childhood surround you. It feels warm and cozy, so opposite of where we were. My location was wrought with pain, anger, loss, fear, and a daughters very broken heart, I hope he never remembers what these weeks looked like. I cannot begin to describe those weeks except to say I was broken and left raw, and this will take time to heal, if it ever does.
Here are a few things I learned during this time:
One, I am a huge control freak, not in the typical way you would think but in the way of wanting to control the outcome of life and death.
Two, I have amazing inner strength, no matter the way I might look on the outside. The fact is that I am able to move a 250 lb. man, with very little effort, amazing myself, my family, his nurses, and doctors. He’s not heavy, he’s my daddy.
Three, I know the love and sacrifice my dad made during the vulnerable years of my childhood. He went to work and came home, that was it. There were no weekends with the boys, he had one priority and that was to make sure he provided for his family and when he wasn’t doing that every free moment was spent with us. In a world where there seems to be a great “need” of me time my dad never bought into it. The payoff is when he is vulnerable; he has children who never leave his side, fight with doctors and nurses, make personal sacrifices and are willing to donate a kidney to keep him with us physically even if it is just for six months. You only get this kind of sacrifice, loyalty and love when you have given that kind of sacrifice, loyalty, and love.
Four, I knew I loved my daddy, but I had no idea the depth or lengths I would be willing to go to keep him here on this planet physically with me, there is no sacrifice that I am not willing to make for him.
Five, I have an amazing family.
Iain and I are a great team; he truly is my twin flame.
Kayla and I are a great team; she is my sister.
Eric and I are a great team; he is my soul mate and safe place.
Mom and I are a great team; we balance each other perfectly and understand each other.
All four of us are unstoppable.
I hope that in Neverland my dad was able to feel the immense love we all have for him.
My father is an avid fan of the Celtic Woman, during the quiet of the morning while my mom would try to get a few minutes of rest I would sit on the couch and watch my dad sleep, memorizing every line on his face, and allow myself what I couldn’t during most of the day, a few moments to cry. I would put on Celtic Woman, hoping that wherever he was he would find comfort and joy in the music. That the music he loves so much would create a bridge from where I was to where he was. It was during this time that I really heard the lyrics to “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”. My daddy has always been my bridge over my troubled waters, there was no storm, no trouble, and no tsunami in my life, which my daddy couldn’t bridge and fix for me. My bridge is broken there is no fixing what these diseases have broken. What has emerged through all of this is one of the greatest honors I have ever been given, I can return the gift and be his bridge.
So Daddy, Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down…..