(Photo at left: My parents and Reb Orrell, IV, about 1988.)
My father had another rough night, but I was able to get him to sleep around 11:30 and get my mother in bed. he started with a fever last night.
I woke up about every hour to check on him. When the room is fairly dark, I have to get right up on him and put my hand on his chest to see if he is breathing.
He tried to die yesterday morning and I thought it was over. He says he isn’t in any pain. I wish he could just close his eyes and go in his sleep.
He can’t walk or stand without help. Even then, he doesn’t have the strength to move. It is a real effort to move him and I’m trying to roll him over on his side every few hours as he is developing bed sores on his back. That will eventually lead to quite a bit of pain.
He is worried about my mom. That’s all he talks about. We also wants to know why Nora and I aren’t working. I told him that Nora goes to work very early in the morning, then comes over, but he can still function mentally and can tell time. His mind is still very sharp – no problem there.
He started crying last night when talking to me about my job. I told him that you and Margie said I can take as much time as I need, but he is worried that will only last so long. Even though he wants to go, he keeps saying, “But what happens if I stay like this for weeks or months before I die.” It won’t be weeks or months, but that is his concern.
I’ve told him I’d work it out and that he shouldn’t worry about it.
Here he is, in his last days, and still only thinking of others. He is the strongest person I’ve ever met, thinking only about others at a time when he should be thinking only about himself.
This is killing me.
At one point yesterday morning we thought it was over. He opened his eyes and asked if the men had finished installing the new heating and air conditioning system. Then he closed his eyes, opened them back up and asked if we had gone to MVA to put the car in my mother’s name. I told him that he had signed the papers and we would do it later. Then he asked if I had lined up the minister for his funeral. He wants a close friend from lodge to do it. Dan Stone is also a Past Master of the lodge and was master the year before I was. Dan retired, then became an ordained minister. Dan has agreed to do it. That put a smile on my father’s face.
Then he closed his eyes again and opened then, thanking me for the fried oyster sandwich. He started to cry and said he was sorry that I wasted the money in buying it because he only took a bite of it. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “But I tried. Thank You.”
He then asked to hold my mother’s photo that he wants buried in the coffin with him. He then asked for the Masonic penny the Grand Master gave to me to give him. That made him so proud to get this year’s penny ahead of time. That has never happened in the history of the Grand Lodge of Maryland.
he then told my mother she’d have to get her own health insurance right away, but she told him she’d have 18 months to get it.
He closed his eyes again and his breathing become very short. He opened them again and asked my mother if she had checked her blood level and have taken her insulin.
I nearly burst into tears when he said he was going to give ‘Pitiful’ her chocolate candy bar tonight. Pitiful was their mixed cocker spaniel who died many years ago. He used to sit there and give her a Hershey’s chocolate bar every night after dinner.
I told him to give his parents a big hug and kiss from everyone. He said he would. He said he hadn’t seen his father since 1961 and was looking forward to being with him again.
He told me to thank my son for bringing over the DVD of Sara’s sonogram so he could see his great grandson.
He told me to keep an eye on my Mother because she wasn’t in good health. He then started to cry and told my mom that he loved her very much and thanked her for marrying him and spending their life together.
He told Nora that he was trying to die, and told her he must not be good enough, because they weren’t taking him yet. Nora told him that all the paperwork wasn’t finished yet and they still weren’t quite ready for him yet. he told her, “But I want to go now and they won’t take me. I must not be good enough.”
It was horrible to hear these things, but everyone including my mom held up very well. We just held his hand and kept whispering that we loved him in his ear and it was OK to go if it was time.
I really thought it was over yesterday morning, but he slowly came around and was pretty good in the afternoon.
Sorry for rambling on. I sometimes have nothing left in my body, then other times, have a lot of nervous energy.
I just heard him wake up. Time to get his medicine and start another day.
I’ll try to make a posting on my blog later today. I’m getting so many emails from around the world about him, that it is easier to do a blog entry once a day.
My only purpose in life right now is to make him comfortable. It is what I must focus on entirely.