My pain is still fresh, still new, as it has only been 3 months since the passing of my Dad, Dave.
New Years Day will never be the same for me or my family again, as that is the day Dad had a fatal stroke. My Mom called from the hospital in tears and my finace and I rushed to be there with her.
The doctor was taking him for a MRI test when we got there and he seemed to be alert. As we sat in the family waiting area, the doctor came in with the results, yes, he did indeed have a stroke and it was a "bleed" as opposed to a "clot". There was bleeding in the brain and the nuerosurgion was coming in to look at the test results. He may have to have brain surgery.
I held Mom as she cried and prayed to God that this was not really happening. I asked to see him and went into the ER. By then he was paralyzed on his right side and could not speak, but his eyes were very alive and he held out his left hand for me to hold. I teased him that this was suppose to be "my year" as I am getting married in August and he stuck his tongue out at me. There was the Dad I knew and loved so well!
The neurosurgion then came in and gave us grave news. The bleed was deep in the brain, and there was nothing that he could do for him. It was now a waiting game, it may heal and then rebleed at a later date, or we could lose him at anytime. I screamed that this was not acceptable! The doctor just looked at me. There was nothing else he could do or say except "you better call the family". I called my brother to come in to the hospital and then called Dad's brother and sister to give them the news.
Dad was moved into a room that night, and he had many visitor's as the family filed through and shed many tears in the hallway. I finally got Mom to go home and we sat vigil by his bed. On Tuesday, there was no change, no improvement, but he was not failing either.
We decided on Tues night that we would "take shifts", so he wouldn't be alone. Visitor's came and went as the week went on, and the doctor was impressed as he was showing signs of improvement. He could swallow again by Wednesday and started eating liquids. I could tell that he was frustrated by not being able to talk, and he kept picking up his right hand with his left one and trying to get it to move. I told him that we would take "baby steps" to get back on the road to recovery, after all, he was going to walk me down the aisle, by his legs, a cane, a walker a wheelchair, however we could do it.
By Friday the nurses were impressed with his improvements and the doctor was going to plan to move him into rehab and get him into speech therapy. I was pleased, as these were the baby steps I was talking about.
He had an influx of visitors on Saturday and at 4pm, I sent Mom home for the night. I would stay and help him with his supper and my fiance would then come and pick me up. After supper that night, the orderly had just put him back into bed and we were chatting, well, I was chatting! A nurse came in and teased him about not being able to "deny me", as I was the spitting image of him. He then stiffened right out and started having a seizure. The nurse told me that these were "common in stroke victims", that everything would be OK. I backed out of the room when she touched his neck and called "a code". We were then ushered into a room to wait and was told that the doctor was working on him and would be in as soon as he could. I called Mom and my brother to come back to the hospital.
The unthinkable happened that night when the doctor came in and said that he had the worst possible news for us. My Dad was gone at 61.
I have always been Daddy's Little Girl. He was the one who taught me how to treat people, taught me how to sing, to appreciate music, listen to the lyrics Lori, he would say, for they all tell a story. He was a gentle, kind, loving father. Always there with a hug or encouraging word. Always showed how proud he was of me and was so very happy when I found happiness and love. He was looking so forward to the wedding, we had our father daughter dance all picked out "This Little Girl Of Mine" by Faron Young. It was going to be "his turn" to walk me down the aisle. To be able to shake the hand of my future husband and say "take care of my little girl". I cry for my loss now, and for his. I miss him more and more as the days go on.
Any healing that has been done in the time since his passing will be "ripped open" again in May, when we have his buriel. I am not looking forward to that day, but I know that he will finally be at peace.
I miss you Daddy and love you very, very much.