Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Long Week

It's been a long week. Today it will be a week since dad went into the hospital.

I was on a field trip with my youngest and missed the first few calls from mom trying to get a hold of me. When I got her message that dad was in the hospital I finished up the trip and went right over to be with her.

As I spoke with mom I had a feeling that this time around was going to be different. My dad has been in and out of the hospital most of his life and all of mine. He was in a gas explosion when my mother was pregnant with me. He fell and broke his back. Had multiple back surgeries. He had an artificial valve placed in his heart. He survived Pancreatic Cancer...yeah I know. We kids didn't even really know about the cancer until two years ago when he was in the hospital and another dr. was going over his chart and made a comment about it. I guess he had gone in for another surgery and when they opened it up they discovered it and happened to catch the cancer at just the right moment. He didn't even have chemo or anything and mom never said that the results of the tests had come back that he had had the cancer. We were just as flabbergasted as the dr. reading the report. He's come out of the hospital after everyone of those experiences and like I said, I had a feeling this time was going to be different.

Mom was ready. As ready as you can ever be I guess. As we talked in the little waiting area she said that she knew he was tired and that his body had been through so much. She's never said that before. And it felt different.

Dad graduated with honors on Friday. He was surrounded by all eight of his children (one on the phone), their spouses and many, many of his grand-children and great-grandchildren. All those who wanted to be in the room. Everyone got to say their goodbyes. It was an experience I will treasure forever. That may sound strange to some but I was honored to be with him, to sing to him, to stroke his head to be there with him when he passed on to the next life.

As we mourned his leaving us for a time I could feel such joy in that room. I know that there was a exhultant celebration there that we could not see. We could feel it but not see it.

I know that my dad is still there. Today those of our family who can go to the temple are going together. I'm excited to go. Dad was a temple worker for seven years in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. He loved being there and serving. I know he'll be there today.

Tonight is the viewing and tomorrow is the funeral. These days are going to be long and difficult but I will get through it with a wonderful husband by my side and with the help of my many family memebers and friends. We will be there to support and love and lift one another. This is why Family is so important. This is why the Family is central to God's plan. We need one another. We can't do it alone.

Thank you all so very much for your kind words in the comments. I am grateful for all the thoughts and prayers in my behalf.

Indulge me as I share one of my favorite pictures of my dad. Is there any dad cuter than this? I don't think so.


Jillene said...

What a BEAUTIFUL post!! You are so right that the family is central to the plan. Isn't it amazing to know that you will be able to see him again? What a wonderful gift! My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family these next couple of days--good luck with everything.

ramsam said...

I am so impressed by your testimony and the peace I sense through all you have been through. I hope that peace will only continue....

"It's daddy's graduation, such a humbling time for me,
for he has earned the highest honor-
God's embrace is his degree."

my thoughts are with you

Mommy Madness said...

Beautiful tribute. Beautiful testimony, it filled my heart today! Great picture. Blessings to you and your family. Hope all goes well this week. You are in our thoughts.

Kristina P. said...

Shanna, he sounds like a wonderful man and father. And I'm sure he was very grateful to have his wonderful family by his side.

Thank you for sharing.

Erin said...

Why did I just put mascara on?
That was a beautiful tribute. You have such a loving family. Enjoy the peace that the temple brings.

TJ said...

That was really beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

stACEy said...

thanks for checking in and sharing your testimony Shanna. I love that picture! what a treasure!

we love you and are grateful you were there in his final moments on this side of the veil.

*MARY* said...

He sounds like he was an amazing man, and that picture is very cute. I'm sure he was so much fun to be around.
How wonderful it is to know that we can forever be with the ones we love.

Wendy said...

Thank you for sharing that! What a beautiful tribue, we will all be thinking of you!
Your dad is So cute, I love that photo, it filled my eyes with tears.

Nobody You Know said...

He is seriously a cutie patutie.

I'm very sorry.

Wendyburd1 said...

Shanna, you speak so beautifully, I am here crying, it was so sweet. I am so glad he was surrounded by the ones he loved...I hope you know how wonderful that was.

Sheryl said...

I feel so much love and peace in your post. I felt the same way, being with my mom when she passed. I was honored to be there, and I felt her in the room.

Your dad was so cute. What an adorable picture. :-D Thanks for sharing so much with us.

Motherboard said...

That was beautiful! I'm crying over here in crazy land. My heart hurts for you! You are in my thoughts and prayers!