Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Losing My Dad

February 21st

It's one of those ordinary days. I overslept and went to work without makeup on or my hair done. I'm a bit fuddle brained but looking forward to the day. Tuesdays are always my favorite since the whole Marketing team is in the just makes for a fun day.

Trey had a great birthday .

We'd had rehearsals for Dangerous Liaisons and I was calling everyone, getting ready for read thru.

I was taking Bree and her friends to do some final prom shopping that afternoon.

Friday was a comp day...I was going to sleep late.

One of those days where, when you look back, there should have been some foreshadowing but there wasn't...nothing to warn you, no funny feeling, no gray cloud in the sky, no music to cue the fact something bad was going to happen.

I was on the phone with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Kennesaw store when my cell phone rang. It was my aunt, my dad's older sister. Normally I wouldn't have answered it at all but I'd forgotten to turn the volume down and answering it was quickest way to quiet it. Asking Beth to hang on, I answered my cell with "Aunt Penny can I call you right back?"

"Your Dad has had a stroke."

I lost my breath. Hanging up the other phone (I think I told her bye), I got the little bit of detail that my Aunt had...enough to know it was bad.

It's odd how fast I regrouped. How I went into "get it done" mode. How quickly I decided that this wasn't what it was going to be like a couple of months ago when we were sure that he was going to lose his leg, when I rushed down to stay at the hospital, all for nothing. I mean...not for "nothing" I'm glad I was there...and his leg was there to...still.

I left work, got the kids...was smart enough to pack overnight bags. On the trip to the hospital I alternated between updates from my sister and calling the cast to tell them about their part and the read thru. I called the director to let her know I might actually miss the read thru.

I just don't understand how my day started so normally.

The doctor is there. He is talking to us.
Extensive damage to right side of brain...coma...MRI...DNR.
Do we know his wishes?

His wishes???

He's talking about life support.

Oh God.

We do know his wishes. As a family, we stand there and express them to the doctor. As the oldest child, I sign the forms.

No life support. No ventilator. No "extreme measures".

I know this is my what he wanted but it tears me up, breaks my heart...
I go out in the hall and sob.

If this were a movie, Dad would've woken up one more time...looked into my eyes, grabbed my hand, gasped his final words of love.

He never woke up. Never moved. His breathing just got more and more labored, more and more shallow.

They moved him from ICU to a room where we could all be with him. They gave me one of those shampoo kits so I could was his hair.

He died the next day. Someone noticed his breathing had changed, was quieter. I watched him and noticed he was breathing less and less. Sent Embree for the nurse. She came in and quietly said "It won't be long now"

It wasn't.

How is this reality? How am I never going to pick up the phone to talk to him again?
Hear him say "Hey now" or "Love you bunches"

I feel lost.

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