A gathering of the clans...

For the past 10 days our world has been in tumult as my sisters have tried to help my father sort out his failing health. We arrived in Maryland five days ago anticipating his imminent death. On Wednesday, he was transferred to a nursing home with a hospice service built into their mission. (Serendipitously, it is a United Church of Christ related facility that is truly wonderful.) And now, given a strong shock to his sense of invulnerability mixed with a compassionate environment, it seems that my dad is holding his own for the time being. I know this ride is truly up and down and needs to be about only taking one day at a time. So, let me return thanks to God that at least for this day they have his pain under control and he is sitting up and taking nourishment.


Yesterday, after a long rest and some quiet time, he said in a whisper (he cannot speak in an audible way because something is pressing on his vocal chords): "It feels like the gathering of the clans is taking place... because they think I am about to fade away."  After a long pause, he looked up and said, "But I'm not ready to go yet."  After another long pause I replied: We are grateful for that, Pop, but until yesterday it seemed that your body thought otherwise. I don't know if you realize how close you were to death, but it was just over the ridge and coming on strong."

He shook his head and took that in before saying softly, "I guess that is true..." There is much more to say about all of this - I've learned so much in these deep five days - but for now this is enough.  Our daughters and grandson arrive later today to visit with Great-granddad and my brother and sister-in-law get in from SF late on Saturday. This is, indeed, a gathering of the clans... We head back to Pittsfield later tomorrow afternoon.

Comments

Peter said…
Travelling, and all mercies under God's watch, brother.
ddl said…
Peace and strengthening prayers for all: Upon your return, upon your dad's transition to new environs, and upon "the clans" gathering as they, and we, do. Excellent care is a true Godsend; it is so wonderful that your dad can communicate his needs and truth.
RJ said…
Thanks dear friends...

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