I went up to dad’s this morning and took him into the doctor. He’s admitting to a lot more pain now and is getting very weak. I was gone just over an hour with him and used his walker like a wheelchair to minimize the amount of exertion for him and it still exhausted him. There were some prescriptions to fill but I opted to take him home and get him resting and then go back into town to fill them.
The support people coming into the house are asking about resucitation wishes for dad. Steve asked me to get that dealt with at the doctor’s office. What an odd sensation to have to turn to your father and ask what his wishes are if his heart stops. It was an effort to be matter of fact in asking him. Even though my head knew that this was the right thing to do, my heart ached for the finality of it. It didn’t surprise me when dad told me he didn’t want it restarted.
The doctor then asked him about his wishes for where he wanted to die — home or hospital. Dad hesitated on responding before finally saying that home would be hard on us kids. God love him, he’s dying and he’s worried about which is hardest on us. “Dad,” I said as firmly as I could “this is your journey, what are your wishes?” He looked at me briefly and responded “at home”. So it shall be.
His doctor told him he believed that his wish to die at home could be supported and that he would come to see dad at home from now on.
As we drove home, I couldn’t help but wonder if dad was taking in this all too familiar road way and surroundings for the last time or if he was looking towards new surroundings, not those in this world but in the next where he would be released from his pain and suffering here and, he believed, reunited with his beloved Emily. I didn’t ask him, we drove in silence, I wouldn’t have expected him to have told me if he was looking forward rather than behind him.
I told Lynn when we got back to the house and my brothers that evening when they were at the house. There was no discussion, we all knew without saying, it was dad’s wishes and they will be honoured.
I’m picking Jane up in the morning to go up and spend some time with him. Dad knows that and wants the visit to happen. He will be able to talk to someone outside the family confidentially. That was something I learned when Frank was dying, sometimes there are things which need to be said but not to a loved one.
From the look of dad today, I have an aching feeling that she will not be seeing him any too soon.