Monday, December 22, 2008

show & tell

*sigh* This weekend was just what I needed. After the burden-feeling left when my dad was no longer fighting an illness, I was left with that loss feeling I talked about. I had so much grief and crying in front of my computer or to my family was necessary but I felt so lost.

After the services, I felt "more right with the world". Those necessary hours of visitation were exhausting, but it was so touching to see a line of people coming towards the casket to hug my mother and us (as we took turns standing by her).

Saturday was more dramatic for me. At the visitation, I could be support, but at the funeral, I needed it and so did all of us. I've always felt for those people in the front row, unable to imagine the pain. But as we all held hands and listened to songs he loved so much, people he loved so much and heard our sobs, I think I felt satisfied.

I know my dad is in heaven and we don't need to do things for his approval as we did when he was here, but I couldn't help but think that we did him proud (not that I did anything). I knew he would have been so touched by it and that was enough for me.

I feel there are a million things I want to ask him (did you see that video of the hoppers dad? for example), but there isn't one thing I still need to tell him. I told him. More than anything, I showed him. here is the video of hardware store I made.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The last 24 hours have made quite an impact. My father is at peace now. He died tuesday at 10:38pm. He was 68 years old. My mom and I were with him and it was sad and surprising, touching and awful.

he was in a coma when I arrived yesterday I think (he didn't move, didn't open his eyes(they were just half open as he slept), didn't respond to talking or touching). But still he was breathing, with some difficulty.

I said goodnight to him, kissing him on the forehead. my mom went to give him his medicine and she looked at his nailbeds again (they were a bit blue before) and she called me over because they were worse. We sat near him and I held his arm, leaning my head on his shoulder, saying something every so often in case he heard me.

Then my mom starting talking to him louder and with greater urgency "It's okay joe. We're here. You can go" and I looked up. His eyes were fully open, and he looked at us with intensity - no fear, no question, just looking - and his color was quite different and something in me knew he was leaving us, so I told him I loved him, told him goodbye, told him we'd be okay, he could go, etc. All the while (all 30? seconds) stroking his arm and kissing his forehead. He took two more breaths about 10 seconds apart, and then he stopped. I didn't know if he was gone or not, my mom put her head to his chest and listened.. his heart was still going. We said a few more words and then he took a small breath and then slowly closed his eyes. I told my mom and she listened again. Then she got her stethoscope (she is a nurse)and listened. He was gone. We said a prayer, thanking Jesus for taking him and that it was over.

Since it was bad weather, it took a long time for the nurse to come, then a long time for the funeral home to come and I spent much of that time hugging my mom, or lingering near my dad's body. I knew he wasn't there, but I didn't want to leave it. So so so strange.

I know we all know this day will come for those we love and there is no way to prepare for it, but there is no way to explain it either. I feel relief (and thankfully no guilt for feeling that), frustration and despair (because I have so many things I forgot to ask him.. how to use this, how did he feel about that, I can't tell him this or that anymore), loss - my dad is gone - I can't hug him, hold him, tell him i love him, try to win his approval anymore, work to give him that special christmas gift that will touch him so much he will cry and gush at how much he loves it. loss..
It feels like he left a hole, but really, that is impossible. He left me with knowledge, talents he passed to me, memories, and love. His opinion of me greatly affected me. His faith in me helped me to try new things. His life taught me some about how to live and as we live, we teach those around us. He was a wonderful teacher and I'll miss learning from him.
Goodbye, Dad.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Things are about the same with my dad. Small things keep getting worse and worse, but that doesn't make it worse for me, even though I know it isn't as bad as it is going to be. ...Maybe it is time for a new topic.
My daughter is home from college. After reading my brothers "good news - bad news" christmas letter, I want to frame it that way.
Good news - I missed her more than I knew. We get to see each other and talk and she understands me.

Bad news - we see each other more, so we talk more, so we yell more.

Andrew learned how to make 3D paper snowflakes and how to cut really cool ones on a website he found:
We finally got our tree up, found most of our ornaments and are attempting to get them all up.

I am busily preparing for my sisters wedding. (dec 27th) I've completed most of my jobs to my satisfaction (that takes kinda long). I did the place cards and because of a few errors, I am one short. ONE!! I think instead of buying a pack of them, I'm going to find the white-out. Karen, if you read this, I hope this is okay :)

I'm making headway on the grading. This is a very familiar hurdle I leap every year before christmas. *sigh*

I am grateful that my husband takes care of me. Most recently by putting a heater in my car (with extension cord) so that we could try to melt the ice yesterday. He scraped it with me too :) sweetie.

there.. that was better. Maybe today will be a better day than yesterday.

Monday, December 08, 2008

in like 800 years...

I had a hard evening with my dad. He is mostly confused and i can't understand what he is saying usually. I try to guess and answer, or comfort him. He often seems to look right through me.

Many of us have told him that he can go. I hadn't yet and so my mom told me to tell him he could let go. I tried several times but couldn't. then later, he wanted to get out of the bed. he insisted. My mom told him he couldn't, he was too weak. He said "why???" (over and over) and my mom finally said "you're dying, joe" and my dad looked right at her, shocked... then started crying. She hugged him and either he put his arms around her or she did. Then she waved me over and we both hugged him. then she said "Cassie needs a hug" so I hugged him and told him that we would be okay. That we will take care of mom, that we know he loves us and we all love him. Jesus is waiting for him. He can let go. he can go. he started talking to me in very loving soothing tones, but I couldn't understand any of it. Then, I looked up at him after a minute and he said "It'll be okay". I said "I know it will". He put his lips together and waited for a kiss, I kissed him & then hugged him again & kissed his cheek and told him "It's okay." Well, at least it WILL be.. someday. if you know me, you know my next line probably wants to be "yeah.. in like 800 years!" and it feel like that long til I'll be okay.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


yeah.. I pretty much go to my parents house to be with my mom now. I know my dad knows me when I come in, but he barely wakes up or smiles. When people from hospice come in, he perks up more (the "stranger" factor that is just his personality). it is hard to see but it reminds me of my dad. The man in the bed really doesn't otherwise. If he gets angry, it reminds me of him. If I just look at him, I feel like i have fast-forwarded 10 or 20 years and I see my dad at that age. With so little fat on him, his face is so skinny and old looking. When he talks, I can't make sense of the words it and it is not very clear sounding anyway. Sometimes he knows and gets frustrated when I don't understand, but many times I just try to answer what he thinks I'm saying and he doesn't react. I'm thankful he is still in no pain (except some muscle pain which the pain med takes care of) and he doesn't seem sad or mad or anything. He is just going through the motions in a way.
For my mom's sake and his, I pray he goes soon. I know if he were aware he would say "How can we move this along!???" He would be impatient with this. Luckily, he is so tired and so confused that he doesn't know what mom is going through and how it is hard on us. He was afraid of how it would be for us. I just want him to be whole and be able to watch the wedding from heaven and be at Peace. soon. soon. soon??