Last Sunday I received a call from my mum, saying that my dad was being taken to hospital by ambulance and could I meet him there …..
He fought bravely this past week and allowed us to be by his side each day until he passed away peacefully on Friday with my brother and my daughter by his side. They held his hands and comforted him through his last breaths.
My sister and I and my mother had been with Dad all week, my brother came on Wednesday and my daughter came on Monday, Tuesday went back to her home 3 hours away and came back again on Thursday and stayed with him. I know..way too much detail 😀
I was asked to write something for his service, I didn’t have time to complete it, but I wanted to share it here.
My father wasn’t always available when I was growing up, I didn’t make that any easier for him, I gave both my parents a run for their money…
I never listened, Dad would say, while we watched the loons on the lake (laughing birds we called them) he would say, stay away from the rocks you might fall in the water..did I listen? No… Splash. Angela be careful the bbq is hot…again did I listen, No, required a trip to emerg with a terrible burn on my arm…
Well this week I listened.
In the last year or so dad was unable to speak. But it didn’t stop him from communicating. Dad loved to talk, once you got him started you knew you’d better pull up a comfy chair.
I can’t imagine his frustration, but he pushed through as Parkinson’s slowly took his abilities away, first his ability to walk, then his speech, motor skills started to fail, he was eating pureed foods, he was often in pain but he still maintained his ability to smile and make those around him smile.
He used those beautiful blue eyes of his, facial expressions, lots of smiles and hand gestures to let you know what he needed or how his was feeling.
If I hadn’t visited in a while boy did I hear about it!!! He stared me down brows furrowed and refused to acknowledge me, only lasted moments but felt like a life time!
This past week he became ill and was admitted in to hospital. He took his time in typical Ellis style, just took his time 😀 he allowed us this time with him, when he needed us the most and when we needed him.
We were watching silly videos online, telling jokes, reminiscing, cooling his head with cool damp facecloths and using our warped humor which we learned from him, telling him he looked like a little Amish girl or a creature off of star wars with all the sound effects included, he loved it smiling through his pain and high fever, we continued caring for him until his final breath with him guiding us all the way.
He needed us there to hold his hands, they were stuck in a fist like position with a little cushion wedged between so he wouldn’t hurt himself, we removed them so we could hold his hands properly, sliding our hands inside the gap, as soon as one of us moved our hands his eyes would open and back to hand holding, his eyes would close.
I sat with him one night early in the week and he kept pointing his hands together, finally I figured it out he wanted me to hold his hands, we both fell asleep.
We all had special moments with Dad like this throughout the week.
We also had some really tough decisions to make on his behalf , I know he is proud of us as we are of him.
I cant’ thank him enough for reminding us, to keep fighting , keep smiling, continue to be kind no matter what, continue to treat people with dignity and respect and most of all he taught us the great power of love.
I’ll miss my father, he was a good , kind caring man, I’m at peace with his passing, I have no regrets other than I didn’t have enough time with him, nothing was left unsaid.
We told him we loved him and that we knew he loved us.
He’ll be missed by many, his family and his extended family at the long-term care facility he called home.
We are truly blessed he allowed us to help him on his journey “home”. He passed peacefully on February 13.