Thursday, December 15, 2016

Losing my father at Christmastime-the path, the journey, the long road Home

This is a such a sad time in my life. The last month has been impossible to describe. A brief timeline shows my two sisters (Cathy, Nancy and I) taking a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean with our dad (88-years old). He had a slight cold, but was still able to dance the jitterbug with me to a merry, two-piece band. Shore excursions left us all tired and weary, but we loved meeting new friends and learning new things, as in the past. The meals were very good, but Dad ate little—oh, except for the molten chocolate cake! His favorite. On the drive home from Charleston (to Wilmington) Dad was very quiet. We would learn he slept at home the better of the next two days.

When my brother, Steve, and Birdie (his caretaker) took him to the doctor on the third day, he was sicker than we knew. Admitted to the hospital with heavy antibiotics, he was discovered to have pneumonia (pneumococcal) and MRSA. He stayed there seven days (Thanksgiving week) while Russell, Nancy and I visited him morning, noon and night. He was then transported to Davis Rehab in Porter’s Neck. His health further declined as he continued to lose weight and refused medicine and food—I doubt he even knew what they were. Delirium set in both at the hospital and at rehab. With a history of dementia and emphysema, it did not look good.

We waited. We prayed. We waited. We prayed. Our dear friend, Carole, played harp to ease Dad’s transition into Heaven that final day. I believe the angels were at the head of the bed, the foot of the bed and the side of the bed—perhaps filling the entire room! Jesus stood back, gently waiting. Carole’s final piece was “Silent Night.” Silent night, holy night, all is well, all is bright. By all signs, he appeared not quite ready to go—and then, it happened. His best friend of thirty plus years, Manny (and his wife, Patsy) had driven an hour to see him. As they made their way down the long hall with Russell and I by their side, Dad gently slipped away.

Manny and Patsy were there within seconds of the great transition. And our family let out a collective (if private) “Amen.” We cried. We reminisced. We cried. We reminisced. I thought, It is well with our souls. With Daddy’s soul. With all of the Morris’ souls. Amen.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the best father a girl could ever hope for! We didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but later in life, we discovered we were more alike than different, Daddy gave me the foundation for a good, solid, responsible life. He believed in working hard, having pride in what you do, taking care of the things you owned, playing and having fun, being generous to a fault, and loving everyone—especially and unequivocally, family.

God rest your soul until we meet again. I love you, Daddy. I always have. I always will.