Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crete: Spring of 2011

photo.JPG by twistinsandy
photo.JPG, a photo by twistinsandy on Flickr.

and this was the beauty of spring for the first three days we were here. and then, so much like what we left in oregon... gray, rain, but very very humid. i could almost see the mold growing.
but consuming me is a conflict of emotions! the saturday, sunday and monday before we left before dawn on tuesday, i was with my dad as he went to the ER after falling and hitting his head, but turns out the more important pain was in his hip... yep.. broken hip. after a not very encouraging conversation with the ER doc, we got him transferred to the Kaiser Sunnyside hospital so he would be in the right place if it was decided to surgically repair the hip fracture. by then, Bud and i were there with Pop, talked with the orthopedic surgeon and we, together with Pop's consent, decided on surgery for sunday. by the time sunday a.m. rolled around, Pop's upper respiratory congestion had become pneumonia.... very common in the elderly, especially when the general health condition has been on the downhill slide. so, surgery is cancelled... and now what??? it is one week before his 95th birthday, he is in pain, he's congested and every time he tries to cough it causes extreme pain in his hip, he is kind of in and out of awareness of where he is and who is there, and is receiving morphine for the pain as needed. it became very apparent that this was the last hurrah... and Pop knew it, too. at one point on sunday, he was really quite alert and put his arms out asking for hugs... which of course everyone there heaped on him. it seemed that he was giving us his goodbyes.and i'm so very happy that this happened for him and for all of us. in the past he had told me that he'd made his peace with death (and that was several years ago) and has also told me that if something dire happened to him i should not cancel my plans to be in Crete... or anywhere that i was having an adventure. so why do i feel so conflicted??? Pop died at 5a.m. on april 16, the day before his 95th birthday... and i was in Crete. i miss being with family. i miss the shared love and family memories and hugs and tears. i know i could not have changed anything by being there. on monday the iv morphine was increased and according to his advance directive, no heroics or life support measures were begun. it became a "comfort care" situation, and so the vigil began and a family member was with him around the clock until he stopped breathing. and in my heart and tears i celebrate the wonderful life he lived, the many many people he leaves behind who have been touched by his love, compassion, talents, intelligence, dedication to his principles, the multitude of these gifts that he shared and the many who benefited from his having lived. it seemed he was always ready for new adventure! one of those was the decision to retire early, buy property in farm country and start a vineyard. that was a huge undertaking to which he and my mom devoted untold hours and sweat and achieved big success in the wine-growing industry. after Mom died in 1993, Pop reconnected with DeDe, who had been an important love in his life before he met Mom. he convinced her that she should leave Florida and come live with him on a hill above a vineyard in oregon. i'm so happy that she agreed to do that and became my other mom, which led to a wonderful integration of adult children and their families. and so now i have another sister and 2 more brothers on the east coast, to whom i am connected and love even tho i don't see them very often. it's like that ripple on the surface of the pond after throwing in a pebble... Pop's touch reaches out to so many and connects us all. i'll always miss him and be ever so grateful for the life he gave me and shared with me and all those i know and love because of him and his love.


goatldi said...

Feel my arms wrapping you in a huge hug. I love you and am so sorry. You are so brave my friend.

sorenw said...

Hugs from me too. I just had Ben & Jerry's and a movie - It felt almost like the good old days at the dome.

Much love from your semi-son