Thursday, January 29, 2015 started very early. We had a lot of laughs--when Dad was nervous he was a "one liner" machine. We also laughed at our navigational challenges of being in a big hospital. And oh the stories we can tell you about elevator rides. How could a day start with such hope, end in utter broken heartedness?
Our father was 80 years old. He worked hard all of his life and his body was worn out, especially his heart. We had no idea it was as weak as it was. How could the heart of our father be weak? The doctor had great faith that this surgery, if successful, would give him a few more years to be with us. After the surgery, we learned Dad had done wonderfully, but the doctor also shared that it was a miracle he did that well because his body was so fragile. Dr. Vish gave us frank words when we asked a prognosis. "Minute by minute; day by day" was what he gave as his answer. We decided to go back to our hotel, since he wouldn't be awake for a while. Sara, Greg, Bill, and I would visit one more time, but he wasn't awake. He didn't know we were there.
Our dear nephew, Jason, and his beautiful family spent time with Mother as we went to dinner. We all were starting to relax and we were hopeful. But then we got the phone call. It was Dad. It was bad. Sara and Greg arrived at the hospital first, then we arrived with Mother. However, it was too late. Our father's heart no longer beat. He never regained consciousness. I took Mom in for one more moment with him, but we realized he was gone. All that was left was the vessel that held my father's soul. We returned to Dayton.
When we picked up Mother and Dad Wednesday for the trip to Spokane, Dad wanted to tell us something important. He told us how he knew he had quit breathing during the night, but he felt someone place his CPAP mask back on his face so he could breathe again. He believed it was heavenly intervention. I believe an angel named Andrew was watching over his beloved grandfather.
Andrew and Grandpa (and Grandma) had secrets they kept from me. Many mornings my parents would receive an 8:05 AM phone call asking for a ride, because he was running late or he forgot something. I never knew about these phone calls until after Andrew's death. Those two boys...
Dr. Vish told us that Dad had rallied a few times as they were trying to stabilize him, but finally, he just gave up. I believe his angel was with him and told him it was okay to stop fighting. It was okay to let go.
We are heartbroken today, but we rejoice that our father is no longer in pain. He can breath again. He can walk without using a cane. Maybe even his toenails are beautiful. One thing I know for certain...my father was greeted last night by my beloved son and they now are living in the light of our beloved Savior.
Andrew...take good care of Grandpa. I'll see you both again someday.
Today, I am proud to be~
John's Daughter and Andrew's Mom