Previously on JOYful Musings
You Are Stronger Than You Think You AreMarch 30, 2017
Just a few weeks ago on March 4th, which somehow seems like a lifetime ago today, I drove the now much traveled road to my parents home, 100 miles away. The purpose of my journey was to help with the care of my father, who had been on hospice for the past few months. Due to a fall three days before I arrived, he began bleeding internally which led to him struggling with some very serious issues. Although my parents had an in-home caregiver to assist both of them for several hours each day and frequent visits from hospice staff for my father, the severity of my dad's issues resulted in my three sisters and I being there every day to assist with his care. There were several days where we had to clean him up every two hours round the clock. None of us are skilled or trained medical professionals and when I first learned of the level of care he needed and what we would need to do, I was not at all sure that I was physically capable or emotionally equipped to get the job done well or even adequately at best.
I quickly discovered that when one is confronted with a serious issue which needs your immediate attention, you either act swiftly or flee the scene. Our deeply ingrained fight or flight response kicks in and we react without thinking, however we choose to respond. As it turned out, every one of my father's four daughters were able to dig down deep and take care of business, calmly and efficiently. We were all utterly amazed and thankful with the result of our collective efforts. The old adage, "you are stronger than you think you are" became a reality which we each experienced in a profound and meaningful way.
As things progressed, we realized within a short amount of time that we needed much more help and support from professionals than we (the family) could provide on a 24-hour basis for our father. We ended up placing our parents in a beautiful board and care facility with a caring and capable staff, just minutes from the home they have lived in for the past 60 years. It was certainly not a decision that was made lightly or frivolously. We had been researching all the options for almost a year in case the time would come when we'd need to make another choice in order to give both of our parents the best quality level of care possible for their safety and well-being. The fact that they "just happened" to have a room become available for both of our parents to share just a few days before they needed it, was considered an uncommon and rare occurrence by the owners of the facility, almost an impossible happenstance and a miracle indeed.
Only five days after getting them settled in to their new residence, the wonderful hospice nurse who was the case manager for our dad, told us she was ordering a hospice sitter for him. The hospice sitter's job is to stay with the patient for a twelve-hour shift while monitoring his vital signs and making him comfortable and as pain free as possible. Every twelve hours there is a changing of the guard. By the third shift, the nurse on duty told our family we should all go home for some much needed rest and she would call if there was any obvious change as we knew dad's time was drawing near.
She called my sister about 6:15 the following morning but by the time she got there, with the rest of us close behind, he had just peacefully taken his last breath with our mother by his side at 6:28 a.m. on his 89th birthday. Our family feels so very blessed that we were able to spend his last days surrounding him while playing his favorite music, singing along and all of us (siblings, grandchildren and great grandchildren) sharing our favorite tales of our father's many infamous shenanigans as well as his magnificent triumphs and all the priceless gifts he bestowed upon us as the great patriarch of our family. I am certain that no one could ever have felt more loved and cared for in their last hours and moments on this earth than my father surely must have!
Our father has been the most incredible role model for our family and countless others during his lifetime. He taught us all to appreciate the gift of life each day, to laugh often (he was known far and wide for his humor and quick wit), to love deeply, to live in integrity with passion and purpose and to always make others feel important and special and that they truly matter.
My heart is overflowing with precious memories of my father and I will be forever grateful for his unconditional love, support and guidance which will become part of the amazing legacy he leaves behind. Endless thanks dearest dad for playing such an integral and important role in my life. I wouldn't change a single second of it even if I could!
The time I was privileged to spend with my dad at the end of his life remains twofold in my mind. It was without a doubt one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do and also one of the very best things I've ever done. Unquestionably, I experienced a very intimate, up close and personal encounter of the commonly used term, "you are stronger than you think you are".
The family and I and all who knew you, will dearly miss your physical presence dad, but your warmth & loving spirit will live on in our hearts forever!
You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
5:30 PM (Pacific)
8:30 PM (Eastern)
FREE one hour teleseminar
Let's get together for a very informal evening where I will share with you some of the little miracles that showed up for our family during the time we spent with my father near the end of his life and shortly after. I wish to pay tribute to him and honor the amazing man that we was, so this call will be like no other!
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The following posters and their messages represent just a sprinkling of the many life lessons which my father shared and impressed upon me over my lifetime ... thanks, dad!
... if life presents you with an unusually difficult or challenging situation, be reassured that you will respond exactly as you need to, in the most appropriate manner in which you are capable of in that moment!
Mark your calendar for my next teleseminar, Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at 5:30 PM (PST) and join me for a special evening like no other call before!
May each day bring you more JOY, unexpected and happy surprises and...
...the next step for Livin' in the FUN Zone!