Daddy graduated to Morphine today. I knew when I headed home yesterday that we were about to enter a new stage of decline. I know that our time together is drawing to a close. My prayer is still that it is sooner than later. Watching someone you love being tortured by disease is horrible. I wish I could take it away from him, but I can't. All I can do is make sure he knows how much I love him, how honored I am to be his daughter and help to make him as physically comfortable as possible.
I've mentioned that my sister was killed in a car wreck about 33 years ago. She was 13 years old. Karen was a wonderful little imp. I called her monkey. She was full of life, sweet as could be and I adored her. The day she died was certainly the worst day my family had ever experienced. My dad has been angry at God ever since the day he buried his baby girl. Since becoming ill, he has been working his way back to a relationship with God. I'm sure that is common for everyone who is dying, but I am glad that daddy is trying to heal his soul. He has been reading spiritual books and literature, talking a good deal with the preacher from the last church he attended regularly and I hope he has been praying, too. I have no worries about my dad's salvation. I know that God is in his heart somewhere and that he will be welcomed in heaven as one of God's beloved children. My stepmom and I spoke a good deal about daddy's spiritual life and she told me that he had asked the preacher if my sister would know him in heaven since he was now an old man. That statement just wrecked me. I'm glad he is thinking of heaven and I hope that being reunited with Karen and other loved ones who are gone are bringing him peace.
What made me so sad about his question was the image I had of Karen and daddy embracing in the next world. My mother (although my folks have been divorced forever and my dad happily married to a wonderful woman for 32 years) looking on with joy. My small famiily unit all together again, the only one absent is me. Don't misunderstand me, I still have lots of living I hope to do in the world, but being the last one left alive in my family is so sad for me. I have great friends, really great friends. The kind of friends that I can call 24/7, who would drop everything to rush to my side. Friends who I know without a doubt love me and support me and are there to comfort me. Friends I can cry with, show my anger to, friends I feel completely safe with. Friends I love so much I can't even put it into words. I know the saying "friends are the family you choose" and I really even believe that. However, knowing I will soon not have any of my immediate family in this world leaves me feeling unanchored and adrift.
I've grieved terrible losses before and so from experience I know that I will get through losing my father. I know that time will ease the hurting and that the memories of this horrific experience will fade and the wonderful memories of my dad will bring comfort. I know that life is for the living, that I am not unique in this experience, that we all suffer great losses in our lifetimes. I know that God walks with me and that he is the great Father that I can always turn to. I know that the feeling of being abandoned as my last living parent is journeying toward death will be replaced by the love of my friends and that does bring me ease.