Hello friends. It's been a VERY emotional AMAZING week starting 2 AM last Sunday Morning (central time). That's when dad fell in his new Assisted Living apt. and broke his hip. He was seen by the Ortho Dr. on Monday and scheduled for surgery at noon on Tuesday. I headed for Texas from Arkansas to make the 7 hour drive to be there in time for surgery. I was too late, however, since they took him in at 10:00 when no family was there. By the time I arrived, he was back to his room. My SIL and Brother were really upset they'd not been called. Fortunately, according to the Dr, all went well. They kept him well drugged the rest of the day. On Wed, we he was still quite out of it. We'd talk with us but he'd just look at us. I got a small smile when I said he had lost a bit of weight since I'd seen him 3 wks ago, but that was it. I'm not even sure he recognized me as his daughter. At one point he looked at us and said "I'm sure they are all dead...they went into the inner circle". We just looked at each other and my brother told him that, "no...they were fine since they were able to find an escape portal on the other side" and dad smiled. He doesn't have dementia or memory problems normally, so we figured it was the pain meds.
After a bit a nurse came in and started trying to get him to sit up so they could get him out of bed and into a chair. He started howling in pain and I couldn't help but lose my temper. I told her to give him a chance to catch his breath.. The nurses response was, we have to get him out of bed and sitting up as we are sending him home later today. HOME??? No one had informed us they were sending him home. He'd just had surgery the day before for heaven's sake, the next day was Thanksgiving and they were sending him home to Assisted Living where it was only going to be minimum staff?
20 minutes and a lot of arguing later I was told I could appeal the discharge. I was on the phone to do just that when a new person came in and ask if I'd wait and give her a chance to talk with me. She explained that he wasn't a candidate for their rehab ward as it would be too stressful, and that Hospice could look into low impact rehab for him to have in the Assisted Living facility and that the operating Doctor felt that he would do better back at the facility.
They discharged him around 4:00. The rest of this story is one that I will be sharing for the rest of my life.
The ambulance took dad back to his assisted living facility and he was happy to be back. He was smiling at everyone, thanked the ambulance guys, and was glad to see his hospice nurse when she came in. He was sleeping peacefully when we decided to all head off and grab a bite to eat as none of us had eaten in quite awhile.
Afterwards we decided it would be nice to stop at the local Goodwill to find Christmas things to decorate dad's room with for when he woke up. We all love Goodwills and Thrifts as you'll never know what treasure's you'll find. Dad loved shopping them too, and would love that we decorated his room for Christmas with the treasures we found there.
We had the cart nearly full (we'd even found a lovely 3' fiber optic tree complete with ornaments) when my younger brother looked around, spotted my older brother and my sister in law, then looked at me and said, "Do you all realize that the last time the four of us were together like this, Mom died?"
OMG...he was right! It hadn't crossed my mind. In 2008 my Mom was in a hospital in Louisiana dying of lung cancer. After three long days of vigil Dad chased us out of the room telling us to take a break and get some lunch feel free to stop at the local Goodwill to get our minds off things. It was there that we got the call to come back to the Hospital and found that mom had passed away.
I answered my brother "OMG! Your right. And I wouldn't put it past mom at all to come and grab dad, saying...Come on honey, now's the perfect time as they are all at Goodwill. They'll get a kick out of this and know for sure that it was I who came and got you and that we are together." Then my brother and I both chuckled as we made our way to the cash registers.
We left the Goodwill with the back of the SUV full of Christmas decoration as my brother and I shared the amazing coincidence we'd remembered with the others. We all felt a bit of a chill on the telling, but chuckled none the less. Once back my brothers went straight to the fridge to put leftovers away, sis- -in-law went to the bathroom and I went to cover dad better with the blanket. That's when I noticed he didn't have his Oxygen on and he wasn't breathing heavily. It took me a minute to confirm what I suspected, and when I did, I was stunned! It had really truely happened! Mom had actually come and taken Dad with her, just as she was taken in 2008, when their loved ones were all together at their favorite store, the Goodwill.
I couldn't believe it.. I even silently told mom I wanted him back, that I didn't mean what I said. I turned just as my sis-in-law was coming to say hi to dad. "I think we've lost dad" I told her. It was surreal...at first she thought I was joking, but then she saw the tears and knew. She rushed to him to confirm what I discovered and we all hugged and cried. However, it wasn't long before the tears stopped and a peace came over all of us. Our grief turned to wonder as we realized what had just happened...we knew...we knew he was with mom, exactly where he's been wanting to be for months.
At this point, I want to be mad at mom for taking him, but I can't, as I know he is safe in her arms and she is in his. I want to be mad at the hospital because 4 hours after they released him, he died. But I'm not sure I can be mad at them either, for if they'd not sent him home this miracle would have never played out as it did. My older brothers from Ohio, I'm from Arkansas and little brother and sis-in-law are from Texas...and yet...here we were, together in Goodwill when mom quietly came and took dad away, just as it happened 8 years ago. And no doubt that both were smiling from ear to ear!
That very next day everyone was happy and we enjoyed a lovely family Thanksgiving in honor of our terrific parents who were finally together once again.
Now who could ask for a more wonderful ending to a wonderful life???