On November 18, 1999 my father was just beginning to acknowledge that his battle with cancer was over. For purely selfish reasons, I did not want my father to decide to forego further treatment starting that particular day since it also happened to be my birthday. As it turned out, my father's 79th birthday was on Dec. 1st and he had already taken his last chemo treatment. We had a little party and some friends of his came by to visit. December 6th hospice had moved my father's last bed into mom and dad's dining room. Once my father laid down in this bed, he never got up again. Six weeks later, he left us.
You have not been in a hospital for three weeks,
You have not been connected, wired up, linked to, or ported.
You are embraced in the love of family and friends.
A blessing this is.
The bed arrived this week.
You gathered us around you while you still had strength
and had David read yours and mom's Living Trust to us all.
David, such a big, strong man, choked.
It is Christmas Eve.
Everyone is with you.
I have stayed at home preparing the Christmas feast.
A phone call -
A demand to come -
Urgent. No argument allowed.
I scream in the car all the way to the family home,
"GOD!!! YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY FATHER WAY FROM ME ON CHRISTMAS EVE!!!
I scream for 18 minutes.
You surprised me tonight.
You are wearing your reading glass
perusing updated insurance documents that have arrived this day.
Where did this burst of energy and focus come from?
Your home has become Party Central.
The stream of family and friends is endless.
Could anyone ask for a better leave taking?
I am very wrapped up in the approach of death,
that same wrapping surrounded by the arms of God.
There were -
Gentle touches - so many
and more Music
Music was an essential part of your heart.
We never thought when
you lay in that bed
you would never leave it.
We didn't know the morphine would
take you away from us before death did.
We didn't know that the bed would
become a soft cloud that would slowly
carry you away from us.