I pressed “publish” on my Tuesday morning blog post at 5:23 a.m. and went upstairs to refill my coffee. I had taken Monday off of work. I wasn’t really supposed to take a day off and when I was asked the reason, I stumbled through a flimsy-sounding answer. The truth was, I just wanted to be with my dad. So we had morning coffee…I listened to him play the piano…he was even able to login and print the Visa bill. Cheryl stopped by. She probably brought soup, because her soup was Dad’s favorite and she made him several batches during his illness. It was such a nice, uneventful day, other than the terminal pancreatic cancer. But now it was Tuesday and as I went upstairs, I could hear that my parents were up. 5:23 isn’t a normal time for them to be up. Mom was coming to get me against Dad’s protests, and I walked up just in time to let them know I had been awake for 2 hours.
Dad was in pain. He had hurt a little bit the day before…he even took a couple Tylenol and then felt better, so I gave him 2 Tylenol on Tuesday morning and took a shower.
When I got out of the shower, we called the ambulance.
I’m not supposed to be blogging about the ambulance…the hospital…the Chaplain… Blogging was for travel adventures and apartment stories and the latest cleanse I was struggling through–not sad stories that involve calling an ambulance.
The ambulance took FOREVER. Did you know time slows down when your dad is in pain and the Tylenol didn’t help?
When we couldn’t wait any longer, Jeff drove Dad to the hospital himself. Mom and I followed. A police officer escorted us and turned all the lights green. God bless him. When we arrived at the ER, the officer helped us take Dad inside, and he wished us well.
There were so many things about Woodwinds…the ER nurse who gave me coffee and a hug…the other ER nurse who got my dad admitted…the DNR wristband…the warm blankets…the IVs…the appointment with hospice…Bob from church praying with us…preparations for going home.
And there was K. K is the nurse who bought Dad chocolate pudding at the end of her shift. She is also the nurse who works part-time at Starbucks…who got to know us and we got to know her…who scheduled Dad’s discharge at the end of her shift 3 days after he was admitted. She is the nurse who came to Dad’s funeral. God bless you K.
Today, 5 days after my dad’s funeral, I am still grateful for Nurse K…for the police escort to Woodwinds…for chocolate pudding…for that Monday I didn’t work even though I was supposed to…for pain meds and more and more pain meds…for a blog that gives me a place to share sad things too…for dinner out at Lake Elmo Inn last night with Cheryl, the one who makes my dad’s favorite soup. And I’m thankful for Mom, Jeff and Rebecca, the ones who are left to move forward along side me without my Dad. And so we are moving forward…taking tiny steps…then pausing to cry…talking a lot about Dad, with grateful hearts and joy-filled memories.