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[Oct. 17th, 2007|11:53 pm]
The view from the window of the room where my father lies dying isn't particularly remarkable, although I feel like it should be. His room looks out over an old waterworks. The building directly in front of the window is a brick oval with a flat roof covered in grass and weeds.

Earlier this week, I discovered that the brick oval is an old water reservoir, and the grass on the roof was intentionally planted. During WWII - the war in which my father earned a purple heart - the waterworks employees dug up the grass and planted a victory garden in its stead. They should plant plumbago, my mother says. With all that sun, it would be really beautiful. It would be nice, I think, to look out the window of the room where my father lies dying and see something beautiful. As it is, the grass reminds me how tenacious life is. 

Inside the room, there isn't much to see. The walls are a soft bare green. Or maybe they aren't bare, and I just can't remember. Most of the time, I am looking at the bed, at the oxygen tank next to it, at the rolling table with the fan that blows air across my father's face to help him feel like he can breathe. 

I keep expecting to walk into the room and see a stranger, someone so changed by approaching death as to be unrecognizable. But he is still there. Underneath the weakness and the thinness and the hallucinations from the morphine he receives every four hours, he's still there. He's ready to go. He's ready for us to go on without him. He's impatient with his body, I think. Before, for getting sick, and now, for hanging on. It's odd how death is coming, at the same time too soon and too slowly.

Most of the time, I am also ready. Or I tell myself that I am. But the loss of him surges over me unexpectedly and at the most ordinary moments. I'll be getting in the car, or waiting for an elevator, or watering the plant on my desk, and suddenly the emptiness inside me is too big for my body to hold. And I'm not ready. I will never be ready, and it will always be too soon.

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[User Picture]From: quaero_verum
2007-10-18 07:22 am (UTC)
This thought may be worthless to you right now, but I think it's amazing and healthy and good that you are able to process this as you obviously are.

Hugs and thoughts and prayers for you and yours.

Keep writing.
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[User Picture]From: marshmelococoa
2007-10-18 01:00 pm (UTC)
Lots of hugs, hairpats, and prayers. I think it's a good thing to never be ready. There are times when we don't want them to hurt anymore and we want to honor their wishes but we are never ready to go on without them.

*forehead smooch*
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[User Picture]From: thecranewife
2007-10-18 01:16 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry.

I hope that he can go somewhat peacefully. I think that coming into this world and leaving it are the hardest things that anyone ever has to do.

I'm thinking of you and your family.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-10-18 01:46 pm (UTC)
Hugs to you. I'll be praying for you and your family. Its so good that all of you are so close knit and that your mom has all this support right now. Many hugs, Leticia
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From: spritzcourt
2007-10-18 02:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, Jo. I am so sorry. Wishing you strength for you and for your family right now.
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From: blissonbliss
2007-10-18 03:07 pm (UTC)
I am thinking of you and sending love and support as all of you pass through this time. I am thinking of your dad and praying for peace. Many, many hugs your way.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-10-18 06:31 pm (UTC)
Praying that God's love and peace embrace you and yours at all times through this journey.

I love you and I'm here for you. 24/7. 365.
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[User Picture]From: millimom
2007-10-18 06:32 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I was so taken by your words that I failed to log in before posting. It's me. Milli.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-10-18 08:45 pm (UTC)

Jo, I'm sorry....

I didn't know you were going through this. I hope that his passing is peaceful. I'm sorry that you're losing him.
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From: misty_bay
2007-10-18 09:03 pm (UTC)

Are there words?

No. Only that I am thinking of you, and him, and praying for death to come before he suffers to badly. Is that wrong of me?

I will be praying for your whole family. Your mom, your siblings, and always you.

Hold tight, and fell what you feel.

Love you!

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[User Picture]From: jchammonds
2007-10-19 03:15 am (UTC)
I am sorry.

But the loss of him surges over me unexpectedly and at the most ordinary moments. I know that feeling all too well. Go with it and grieve during those moments.

We are never ready to lose a loved one. It is always difficult.

Tight hugs.
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[User Picture]From: causedujour
2007-10-19 11:49 am (UTC)
What everyone else said.

Hang in there. I'm so sorry. Much love.

You and your family continue to be in my thoughts every day.
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[User Picture]From: walkerchick
2007-10-19 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'm a friend of Milli's. I've watched a parent die. I admire you for having the guts to share in this forum how you're feeling. I hope that the transition is as easy as possible for all of you.

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From: kakmer
2007-10-20 12:55 am (UTC)
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-10-20 04:16 pm (UTC)

Oh, no...

I am so sorry, I had no idea that he was this bad. I'm lighting candles and incense for you and yours and praying for the most merciful outcome.

I lost my mother when I was 19. I was not ready to lose her. I don't think that any of us are ready for something like that. It's hard to rage against the dying of the light when your mind is in shock and all you can think of is, this is not happening to me.

Your post was stark and beautiful.

You are in my thoughts.

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