I sit listening to what sounds like peaceful sleep but I know kidneys and a heart are battling. Battling like no other battle thus far in his 81 years of life. Is his tiny 5'3" body be in a repair slumber? Or is it a body that's tired and had enough?
Tonight is my last night sleeping at the hospital. I have very mixed emotions about leaving. I will be happy to enter into His house tomorrow to pray. It will be a joyous reunion with the family I had a hand in creating. But I will also be so sad to say good-bye to the man who was so instrumental in helping my parents stumble through the end of their teenage years with the creation of me.
He's old now and his body is tired but he's not ready to leave us. Even though the doctors have spoke the words more times than I have fingers and toes in the last three days, it's not easy to face the real end. For him or us. At least these are my thoughts today. It's coming we don't know exactly when, only He does but the doctors have all said the bag of tricks is almost empty.
I don't know what it's like to watch a person leave this world from heart and kidney failure. I know a little about cancer, I know that there is so much pain you feel bad enough for them that you just want them to feel better. Even if that means without you. I never known first hand a persons painful heart attack. I've only known people to have had a heart attack and then go. I am learning a struggle with heart and kidney failure, it's not easy. So far it's a long road filled with many drug options all of which seem to have some effect on either the kidneys, or the heart, or both. It's all a fine line which is very blurred right now.
I leave tomorrow. I am so sad. What if this is the last time we get to talk about all the wonderful crazy things we did? Laugh about me driving the back roads starting at 11 years old with him as the passenger and my sister in the back seat. He snored last night and today I remind him of how my sister and I used to record their snoring on tape recorders so we could prove they did. Thinking of us running the aisles of their grocery store grabbing all the Popsicles our little bodies would allow before we got sick. We talk about the New Yorker and how I drove it to Fargo with my learners permit, Grandpa next to me, playing cards with my sister in the back seat. I could go on and on. My grandparents were so much a part of our lives when we were growing up.
Grandma passed away when I was 14 and my sister 11 and she was only 52. And to this day he talks about about everything going to pot after she died. He told me today that I would call him dida (dee-da) in Croatian and that my Great-Grandma lived with him on and off when they were first married.
We watched a few of our home movies and a slide show on my computer today. We also watched part of the Orange Bowl. Hannah laughed with him and he joked about keeping her ladybug pillow pet. We all laugh day at his wonderful ability to joke and give the nurses a hard time.
His stories are mixed in time and I piece them together. I know what he needs almost like my own Dad does. He calls for me in the middle of the night, just like he does when Johnny stays with him. And today he tells me about the things on the check list. He start talking about getting a family car and how it's not necessary. I listen and try and follow along. Then he says something and it clicks about what kind of check list he's talking about.
My Dad has already told me about the check list and Grandpa has said a funeral home service will suffice. Ever since, I've been praying he'll come back. Now we talk about the list. I tell him not to worry about money, what kind of car, etc. But I ask if he'd like to have his funeral at the same church that his brothers, sisters and parents did. He says this will be okay. He also tells me that my Aunt also prays for this and that she has inquired. When he tells me that the church will be okay I know Jesus is working on bringing him home. He wants all his children with him.
Then we pray. He follows my prayer.
And now, in the dark of the end of the day, just like the dark of the start of the day, we are alone in the room. He sleeps. I type. He sleeps. I cry. He sleeps. I pray.
The Year of Prayer ~ Day One.
Our family Christmas 12-18-10