Monday, December 11, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many of you know how ill my father has been the past few months. He spent the last two weeks of his life in the hospital during which time I didn't have the time to even post here at all. We were all trying to spend as much time with him as possible because we knew how ill he was. We got Eric home to see him a week ago today, and many thanks to the Local Red Cross chapter for their kind and excellent help in getting Eric here through an emergency family leave. You can find a link to the info for Red Cross emergency leave in my helpful sites list. So I don't have to type this all again ... I am posting the email here I sent to my friends the first part of this week:
Eric flew in yesterday morning [Dec. 2nd]] and we went right to the hospital in Ft. Wayne from Indianapolis since it was the shortest way to get there. My dad's condition had been deterioating rapidly since about Thursday so we didn't even go home first.
When Eric saw his grandpa he leaned over him and held his hand and talked to him and my dad did manage to tell him "I love you too' which is what he has been saying a lot to all of us the past few days. He was in very bad shape, struggling to breathe and in pain the morphine they were giving him didn't even touch though. Eric turned around, looked at me and broke down at which made me start crying too. I opened my arms and he was in them just like he was when he was little. My heart was breaking for him and my poor dad. Later that afternoon my father asked the nurses and all of us to stop the treatments. The hospital took him off the drugs (except morphine) and put him in a private regular room where we could all be with him. He also asked that the assisted breathing mask be removed and they just put a regular oxygen mask on him. After they let us in with him there ... he looked more at peace than he had for several weeks. He passed away peacefully with his whole family around him and my mother holding his hand at 5:02am this morning [Dec. 3rd]. We miss him but it was truly for the best. None of us wanted him to suffer anymore like he was either. To the end, my father was a loving special man, taking the burden off of all his family by asking us to let him go home.
The Marine Corp extended Eric's leave so he could stay for the funeral which was held Wednesday. I extend a big thank you to Eric's command too. When his grandmother heard he could be here she was so happy she actually jumped up and down a little! Dad's funeral on Dec. 6th was special. He was a special, giving man to his family and it was hard to say goodbye to him but we did it together. I am so lucky to have a family as close as mine is. We will all be there for my mother and she knows it so she is doing okay.
During my father's funeral I got up and read a poem I wrote for him and I actually made it through it. I broke down a couple of times and halfway through it I had to turn around and look at my dad to gain a little of the strength he passed onto me back, but I did manage to say what I needed to and it helped us I hope. Now ... in remembrance of my father ... I am sharing my eulogy to him with you. Just like I did at the funeral ... I need to say that my dad was a wonderful father and grandfather ... but mostly he was also our friend. A true friend to the end.
My father, my friend
If you are lucky in your life,
A man who loves his family
A man who believes in honesty
A man who is there when you need him
Who comforts children when they're sad
A man who loves so many things,
I was so blessed in my life
Now I know that he is standing,
written by Tami, in honor of my father, who went Home Dec. 3, 2006