Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Sad Anniversary

Four years ago today, I wrote this blog about the death of my father, the Rev. Ivan Blaine Emily:

Over the last four years, I've often thought about the things that I should've done back then, like taking FMLA from work while he was hospitalized here in Indy; or even not going to work the day he died.  I sometimes wonder if it really mattered that I waited for permission to leave the job after the nurse called with the sad news instead of just leaving.

What really plagues me from time to time is the fact that I refused to allow Daddy to be put on intubation.  He had a DNR in place, but he also had a living will and made it very clear that he didn't want to be kept alive by a machine.  An intubation meant that he'd have a machine regulating his breathing, as opposed to the bi - pap machine he'd been on that was assisting his oxygen intake. Would it really have helped him come back to a measure of worthwhile living?  Or would it have just put off the inevitable?  It was my decision to make back then, being his power of attorney in that respect.  I know that refusing that measure went with his request and stated desire, but it also contributed to his death.  I contributed to his death.

Those same feelings of guilt have followed me around after making a decision to euthanize a beloved pet who was not experiencing a quality of life.  Was the decision made for their comfort, or just for my convenience?  Was the decision four years ago against the intubation made with compassion?  Or was it selfishness?

It always bothered me that I wasn't at his side when Daddy passed.  He wasn't alone thanks to the doctor and the nurses, but none of his family was with him when God took him Home.  It was a major regret.  After being present when his wife, my stepmother Rosemary, passed from this Earth, I'm still conflicted about not being present when Daddy passed.  Rosemary took these short, panting breaths and was on oxygen (not intubation, however), but never responded to anything anyone said to her.  She left us between one breath and the next; Robert was the one who realized she'd stopped breathing.  I often wonder if that's how Daddy passed - between one breath and the next.

The last few days of his life, Daddy wasn't conscious at all.  It stands to reason that he might have heard us talk to him.  At least that's my hope.  I hope he knew that he was loved and would be missed. He is greatly missed, and he was greatly loved - by me, his step sons, his brother and sister, his nieces and nephews, and his many friends.   He is missed greatly.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about him, or wish to hear his voice on the phone for his daily call - to hear him tell me to give Robert a hug for him and Mom and to pet the kitty cats so they'd know they're appreciated.   To discuss the Cubs latest win or loss (or IU's win or loss or Da Bears), to discuss politics.  I miss his laugh, and his smile, and his wisdom.

I miss my Daddy, plain and simple.

It's funny, we never think that our parents will ever leave us.  They seem invincible when we're children; strong, wise, powerful, vibrant.  We see them age as we do, yet it still doesn't seem possible that they will eventually get gravely ill and die.  My father was my hero in many ways.  He had faith in spite of the challenges Life threw at him.  He beat cancer for 27 years and more.  He believed that to lead souls to the Lord, he had to be an example of Christlikeness.  He never smoked, or drank, or did anything else that was against the Commandments.  At least none that I ever knew of.  There's not a lot of people one can say that about.

And he was a happy person.  When he smiled, it was genuine.  He didn't form opinions about people just because they might believe differently, or were of another race or belief.  He formed opinions about people by their actions.  Even if he disagreed with someone, he never looked down on them.   He could be firm when necessary, but gentle as well.  He did the hard things that had to be done, despite the personal hurt it cost him.  To this day, I am protective of his memory - just ask my poor husband, who got quite a tongue lashing last evening for making an off the cuff remark about Daddy's opinion of our current lame duck President.

It's been four years since he left this Life.  Sometimes it feels like centuries, sometimes like minutes.  I know he's better off.  There's no more pain, no more illness, and he's reunited with Mom.  I'm sure he looks down from time to time and shakes his head over what goes on with me and with the world.  The love is still there, but it's not the same.

Hell, probably a few readers will think this is nothing but a selfish pity party and it's time to get over it.  Do you ever really get over the loss of a loved one?  Does guilt over the things you didn't do and should've done ever go away?  .

This day is very hard for me.  Once upon a time, it was just another day highlighted with 'May the Fourth Be With You'.  Now it's a little more intense for me.  I'll be glad to put the day in the rear view mirror for another year.

I miss you, Daddy.