Resting at Last


                             Aaron, Dad, and Micah—Christmas 2009

My sweet father in law passed away Thursday morning at 5:00 am..  I shared with you all in a post last week   how difficult of a decision we had to make a week ago–the decision to put him in a nursing home because we just could not continue the care at home by ourselves even with the wonderful help of Hospice.  He lasted just about one week there and I cannot say enough about the level of love and care he received at Golden LivingCenter in Lima, Ohio. I must admit when I heard the name all I could think of were golden arches but even though the facility is not the newest—the care was fabulous.  We are so very grateful to all who made his last week on earth more comfortable and all of those who surrounded him with quality care and love.

He was surrounded by family as he slipped from this world and finally entered a place where his body was no longer wracked with pain.   The transition took awhile but we all had time to say our goodbyes and hold his hand and kiss and love him and that was such a privilege.  I watched as my husband tenderly stroked his cheek and as my dear sister in law hugged and kissed her Papa.   Those moments will be forever in my mind and I know that he knew of our presence even if he could not verbalize it.  I loved those moments.  Not everyone can do that—not everyone can be there.  Perhaps the most touching was when we had Carlton there and encouraged him to talk to his dad and tell him he loved him so that he could let go.   A precious moment that I will never forget.  I am so blessed to be a part of this family.   I do not take it for granted.

Death is never easy.  The selfish side of us wants the loved one to stay.  We want life to continue as it has.  We don’t like change.  We don’t like having to deal with the unknown.  But as Christians we know that our loving Lord is awaiting us with open arms.   He is just waiting to receive us into His heavenly kingdom.   What a glorious day it was for Dad.  When we left the house this morning at 2:30 A.M.  Chris commented that it was a perfect fishing day.  Dad would have loved it.  I would like to think that he is now at a trout stream or on a lake fishing his heart out.  What a day he would have.

Carlton always seems to bring me back to reality or should I say–always puts a smile on my face.  When I talked frankly with him the other night about what was going on with his dad I used the “D” word.   He said he didn’t want to hear that.  I consoled him and told him that I didn’t want to say that word either but that it was what was going to happen soon and I wanted him to understand and be as prepared as he could be.   After a little silence he looked at me and said “Watch out, Mom.  Here comes Dad!”   We agreed that they would be dancing together again soon and that that was hardly something that we could be sad about.

I have to thank all of you who have reached  out and who have commented either here or on Facebook or in emails recently about what we have been going through.   Today, 5 hours after Dad died, we made the memorial service arrangements and were once again blessed because Dad had done the pre-planning. We did not have to figure out what groups he belonged to or education or employment years, etc.  because he had written it all out .  I would encourage all of you to get your information for your obituary organized –it makes it so much easier for the family when they have about a zillion and ten other things to be thinking about.

This week I will be taking a break from my usual Teapot Tuesday where I feature my teapot collection . This is the day we will pay tribute to a wonderful man and have a memorial service to celebrate his life.   I will be doing a Tribute on my blog in his honor.  It is the least I can do.   Thank you for indulging me and for allowing me the privilege of writing out a few of my thoughts.   It helps.  It really does.

Comments

  1. I’m so sorry about your Father-in-Law and so happy you all were able to say goodbye in such meaningful ways.
    It is so important to talk about Death, cry about death, and laugh about death. I think the number #1 thing that has sustained Cole and I throughout grieving Joe’s death is being able to talk about it and say–Death sucks and so much more to each other and our friends and family.

    • You know first hand about death, Katybeth, and your words mean a lot to me because you speak from experience. We have laughed a lot the past few days which is healing and sometimes seems odd when you think about all that has transpired but it is the remembering of times with Dad that bring on that laughter. I loved being a part of the “familiness” and seeing Chris and Colleen and Carlton share memories. What a joy. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  2. Beth Ann… I am so sorry for you, and your families loss. It is so hard to lose a parent… This was a beautiful post. Your father-in-law was such a lucky man to have had you guys taking such good care of him at home, and being with him at the wonderful nursing home at the end…Death is not easy, and we are all selfish to want our loved ones to live forever, but sometimes it is time. Your father-in-law will no longer be suffering…

    • Thank you so much, Hilary. We were blessed to have been with him and are so relieved that the pain he has endured for years is finally over. Selfishly missing the human man and the hugs that I loved to get from him but knowing that he is at last at peace.

  3. Beth, you put this so eloquently. I know how much you all loved him. It was very apparent from all of your posts. Know that I’m keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Thanks for sharing your family with us. I’m sorry you’ve lost one so dear, but glad you have been able to laugh at the fun memories and draw nearer to each other at this time. My mom was always good for a laugh, and yes, it did seem odd to be giggling and telling those humorous stories when we gathered at her home-going. I know you will miss this wonderful man, and I look forward to reading your tribute on Tuesday.

  5. Oh Beth Ann I am so very sorry to hear about Dad’s passing. It is comforting to know that he is no longer in pain and it sounds like your in laws are a beautiful family. Will be praying for all of you during this time.

  6. Beth Ann I am so sorry for your loss, its never easy but you are so right about what a great day it was for your father in law, to see is lovely wife again and dance together. You brought both tears and a smile today, I will keep you and your family in my prayers and look forward to your memorial post.

    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I really appreciate you leaving such kind words. We are all working through the process and I find that writing about it helps me so that is what the tribute will be doing for me—helping me work through the grief. Thanks again!

  7. Christine M. Grote says:

    Oh, Beth Ann, I’m sorry your final goodbye has happened. Hopefully you will soon be able to remember this important man when he was healthy, and those memories will make you happy. He has escaped the limitations of this life, and probably, like my sister, he is dancing in heaven.

    • I think you are so right, Christine—he is up there with his lovely bride dancing. We have been having a great time going through pictures and as I listen to the siblings talk about this man who was my surrogate father for the past 17 years I am getting all tied in to their memories!!! It is a blessing!

  8. I so very sorry for you and your family’s loss.
    I never know exactly what to say but you will be in my prayers.

  9. Praise God your dad is now with him forever and one day you will join him again. This is truly a comforting aspect of Christianity. It’s good he didn’t die alone like my dad did–he was alone except for his cats, but then, he figured it would be that way and is what he chose. I regret though that I wasn’t with my mom in the hospital when she died–none of us made it there in time. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    • Thank you so much, Karen. I am sorry that you were not with either of your parents. I was not with my dad, either, and I wish that I had been but I had been there just a bit before and said my goodbyes and he knew that we were just ready for him to be in the presence of his Lord. Thank you for the kind words and thoughts!

  10. So sorry to hear this Beth 😦

    I know exactly how you feel. My mom is currently struggling with her cancer…she is pain almost everyday. We tried to take care of her our best. But I often couldn’t bare too see her pain (Lucky I have my pets to cheer me up). Although I am sorry for your father in law, I can also say I am happy he passed away, he no longer feel the pain now.
    I will be so heartbroken when my mom’s day finally come but I am also going to be full of gratitude to my Lord for my Lord will finally takes her pain away.

    • Thank you so much!!!! I know exactly what you mean—-it is so hard!!!! I hated to see him in pain and there wasn’t much else we could do. Thanks so much for the sweet thoughts ! I will be thinking about your mom!

  11. Helen Brown says:

    I just want to say that you are blessed to have such a ;loving family of in-laws and you will help each other through the loss of Skip. You are and will continue to be in my prayers.

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