Update

I haven’t been near a computer for a couple of days. Also haven’t had much sleep. I’m typing this on my Droid.

I’m sitting in a hospital room right now, next to my dad. He’s sedated with morphine, but sometimes drifts up to consciousness that can range from muzzy to vivid. He’s refused food and water since several days before I got here, so he’s no longer able to talk.

“I love you, Old Man. I was so lucky to have you in my life. Lucky to live in a world that had you in it. I’m here with you. I’m going to be right here with you for as long as you need me.”

These are some of the things I tell him, and his eyes tell me he hears and understands me.

“He’s so lucky to have a friend like you,” say the nurses. I wonder if this is something they say to everybody, but even so it brings me to tears. I need to hear it.

I helped move some of his things today, and came across treasure — the spurs he wore on mountain trails through decades of wilderness cowboy work. I want them with an almost physical ache.

Night is falling outside. I sit in a quiet dim room and think about the sound of breathing, and the light shared between people who love.

The man was sunlight in my life for some of my best years. I’ll get the spurs, yes, but they will be the least of what I inherit.

Soon, now, say the doctors.

  • rmw1982

    Hank, I normally lurk on the FTBs, but I just wanted to say I’m glad you get to see your dad, though I wish the circumstances were better. Thanks for all your posts, and here’s wishing you the strength to get through this.

  • Carlie

    We’re virtually holding vigil with you, for what that’s worth. Be sure to take care of yourself too, ok?

  • docsarvis

    Anything I type will sound empty compared yo what you are going through. Just be aware that there are people out here reading words and shedding tears for you and you dad.

  • Cuttlefish

    Dude, I am in tears. I have been in your position all too recently, and I would have given a kidney to be able to have [in my case, my brother's] eyes tell me he could hear me.

    As terrible as this is, far worse would be for you *not* to be there. I am so very glad you are there, and are sharing your pain with us.

  • Bob Makin

    I lost my dad a couple of years back, he went fast and I wasn’t able to be with him before he passed.

    I guess you’re lucky in a way, one of those sad/lucky kind of things. I’m sad for you, but in a way I envy you too.

    Take care of yourself, know that others here are with you in their hearts and minds.

  • magistramarla

    Hank,
    My words could never be as poetic as yours.
    Just know that all of your friends are here, watching with you, and sending our thoughts to you.

  • Quincyme

    Difficult to express feelings. Hope we helped a little.

  • Lynda M O

    Thinking of you and wishing you strength. The grieving brings bittersweet.

  • raymoscow

    I’m so glad you were able to make it out to see him. It means a lot to you both.

  • lordshipmayhem

    You are in my thoughts.

    I’ve been there. My own Dad passed away about three years back, of cancer. I know well how it hurts.

    Stay strong.

  • Chrisj

    “He’s so lucky to have a friend like you,” say the nurses.

    And they’re right; you’re a good man, and a good friend. And from what you’ve said about him previously, it’s clear that he’s a good man too, and had a substantial part to play in making you what you are.

    And … what docsarvis said. Because I can’t say it better.

  • F

    You are good men, both of you, and I wish you both the best that can be had from the situation.

    Peace to you both.

  • judykomorita

    Oh, gods, I have tears in my eyes. I’m so glad you got to be there with him, and that he knows you’re there. It’s a precious, sad time that will be with you until your own passing comes.

    Take care of yourself, too.

  • http://toad.faultline.org Ron Sullivan

    A most difficult kind of good luck, to be able to be there. Also the best thing you could possibly do.

    My thoughts are with you.

  • carolw

    I’m sending you a long-distance e-hug. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you do well through this. It’s hard as hell. My husband lost his dad recently (very similar situation at the end). Hang in there, and know you have a lot of support out here on the internet.

  • niftyatheist

    Thinking of you, Hank. Checking your blog several times each day to see how you are doing. Thank you for the update. I know what a vigil like that is like. Sending you a virtual hug.

  • geocatherder

    I’m so glad you could be there. To lose a father, especially one who’s been such a good friend, is to lose a bit of yourself. Many hugs.

  • davidct

    Hank – I just went through this with my mother about a month ago. It is hare to watch a loved one die and not be able to do anything. You cannot let them suffer but once you start the morphine there is very little chance to communicate. One can only hope that being there makes a difference but you don’t really know. We feel for you man.

  • Kristine

    :( Oh man. My mom just died… on Halloween. I’m only 26 and she was only 47. I haven’t been reading all my usual blogs because of it and so this is the first time I’ve read about your dad. It’s fucking sad and a little weird that one of the bloggers I read regularly is experiencing basically the same thing.
    She had a massive stroke on the 26th and by the 30th she had “brain death.” Since I live in Seattle and she was in Louisiana… and I’m her only child… I had to authorize the doctors to pull her off the ventilator… over the phone.
    It’s strange. She died 6 days ago but today has been worse than any other day so far.

    I wish you and your father the very best.

    • heidi

      Kristine,
      What a dreadful thing to lose your mother so young and so sudden. My heart goes out to you.
      H

      • martha

        Wow, Kristine, that’s an awful lot to handle. I hope you aren’t alone in Seattle.

    • http://lapalma-island.com Sheila Crosby

      Hugs. That must have been incredibly painful.

  • Crudely Wrott

    My heart is with you and your Dad, Hank. It’s the one with the tear of understanding falling from it.

  • martha

    Hank,
    I went through a little if this with my Dad last winter. What do you say when they can still understand, but can’t really talk? Good luck to you and Dan. I hope things go as easily as possible.

  • flyv65

    Well said: its easy to see how proud your Pop must be of you…


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