in his backyard haven

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What's your song?

On Monday morning we had many conversations with the hospice care team. Dad's condition had changed enough during the night that new conversations were to be had. He stopped drinking water and Ensure on Sunday night - unable to swallow without choking. His breathing overnight had become much more labored and he is much less alert.

The hospice staff recommended that we have only our own immediate family with Dad on Monday. So Joe, flew back down from San Francisco (he was here the week prior) and Liz drove over from Irvine. On Monday evening It was just Mom and Dad and the five of us kids hanging out in the house and with Dad.

We thought it would be helpful to be around him all together. We prayed for him and tried to help him know that we were all there. We talked with him and had some one on one conversations.

Then we decided maybe we should sing to him. We tried to sing some Johnny Cash. That only made us laugh because we were so bad at it. We tried a few other things which also turned out badly. Then we turned to Pandora for some help. Ring of Fire? nope. Ghost Riders in the Sky? We found ourselves wondering what it was they were really singing about. Having dialogue over the song rather than just letting Dad enjoy it. We tried Eidle Weiss from the Sound of Music because Dad always enjoyed it when we could sing that. Earlier I had wanted to play some religious songs. Others put a kabosh to that. No more crying. We just can't handle that right now.

So, I came to wonder, if I have the chance to die surrounded by my loving family someday, what would I want to be my song? I'll have to start thinking about that. More importantly, how will I continue to live my life so that the right song is obvious. Either way, we had a good time with Dad last night. Chatting and singing and praying.

It's 5 am on Tuesday morning now. Dad has a fever and Mom and Joe were taking care of him for that. We continue to rotate him in bed every two hours, give him medicine for his pain, check his blood sugar every 4 hours. He is on oxygen for comfort. Today, we continue to wait and pray and love and laugh and cry. We will get crabby and be stressed, but we will love him up to heaven and I'm sure most any beautiful song with do.

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