After enjoying a fabulous visit with 3 Awesome Girls, I was pooped out!
I had been ignoring my pregnancy fatigue to prepare my home for visitors, and then was riding high on the fun of having them here and showing them around my community, and staying up all night visiting. So when they left...I crashed!
I was feeling particularly drained one Sunday afternoon, when my dad called us all into the living room to talk. We had gone to my parent's for Sunday dinner. We had been talking on the phone to my brother who had moved to North Dakota, and Dad asked us to put him on speaker phone so he could talk to all of us.
He informed us that he had visited a new lung doctor the previous week, and gotten some news that he didn't feel that he should keep from us. I wrote about my dad's health problems here.
He proceeded to tell us that the new doctor told him that even though he was on oxygen, because his lungs were not functioning at full capacity, they were not able to expel the carbon dioxide when he breathed out, and it was building up, and eventually his lungs would give out. We didn't know how to respond.
He told us that they were going to still perform a few more tests and explore some options, but that they would not be options that could heal him, but perhaps help in keeping him around for longer, and more comfortably. He said he wasn't counting on anything though, and that he could only have a couple of months left, or he could have a couple of years left, but he just wanted us to know what he had been told. He had some more tests scheduled for the end of the month.
He told us that he wasn't afraid to die. That he was ready if it was time for him to go. He told us that what he was afraid of was suffering. Of feeling like he was suffocating when the end came, of not being able to get breath. He asked us that when we prayed, instead of praying for him to stick around, that we pray for him to be able to leave this life peacefully when the time came. That it wouldn't be painful, or a struggle.
I was pretty much quiet the rest of the evening. I wasn't ready for this. I have always known my dad wouldn't live to a ripe old age. His health has always been bad. But I wasn't ready yet. He was going to be a grandpa again. I needed him to be here for that. I couldn't stand the thought of him not being around to see his new grand baby. I needed him here for that, and that's what I asked for when I prayed.
I was already having a great deal of anxiety about this pregnancy (as I was unprepared to get pregnant, I was worried about my health and my age, and how it would affect my pregnancy), this news added to my nervousness, and I pretty much worried every day that my dad wouldn't be here to meet my new baby, or that something would go wrong with my pregnancy. It was a hard time for me, and for all our family.
Telling the kids was the hardest. They love their grandpa so much. They were heartbroken when they learned, and we rallied around them to help them know that things would be okay, and that we are a forever family, and that's all that matters. But it was still hard.