Thursday, May 28, 2009

I want to be like ... Dad

Tonight I attended a retirement party for my Godmother, Jeanie. She retired from the bank in town after 25 years of service - Congratulations to her!! It was a great retirement party, and it reminded of just how much she reminds of my Grandma - and my Dad. That Logghe blood - and craziness! - runs deep!!

The women that she works with got up and spoke, gave her some gag gifts, etc. They asked if anyone else wanted to get up and say anything ... my Mom turned to me and said, "Your Dad would've been the first one up there." And he would have been. He would've loved to get up in front of everyone, tell some funny stories about Jeanie, and probably talk about how he would miss seeing her at his weekly bank visits. Mom tried to coax me into "taking dad's spot", and getting up to say something - but I just couldn't do it.

It made me think about how I wish I was more like my Dad. He was never afraid to do or say anything. Now, I know at times I can have a big mouth - but times like tonight, I prefer to sit on the sidelines and let others do the talking. I wish I were like my Dad in that I could talk to anyone. I used to tease him that he could strike up a conversation with a brick wall, and in reality I teased him because I always wished I had that ability - the ability to talk to anyone, to be so friendly, to always know and remember people.

At work today, as I was walking out to my car, I heard my name called - and turned around to find the sports therapist who works at RCMC, who also attends sporting events in Glenwood as the trainer. He wanted to share with me that he will really miss Dad. That when he came to Glenwood for sporting events, he always knew he would be welcome - in part because my Dad was always the first to greet him, and make sure he was doing okay and had everything he needed. That was my Dad - always there with a smile, and always willing to lend a hand and help people out no matter what.

I find myself tonight not only missing him more than usual, but also making a mental list of ways I can try to be more like him. I only hope I can start to be like him, start being someone people remember as kind, friendly, and sincere. And always with a smile.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunny Days and Sleepless Nights

I'm supposed to be at work right now. I was scheduled until 3 am, however I got to go home at 7 - the perks of people not being sick! I thought, wonderful, now I can go home, get to bed early, and get a good night's sleep. HA, or not. Here I sit, almost 2 am, not having slept a wink.

I used to have no troubles getting to sleep - I LOVE sleep! My mom would say I sleep too much, I say I'm resting up for when I have kids and can't get any. Well I don't have those kids yet, but lately I still can't get any sleep. Or at least not at the right times. Nights are the hardest around here, that's when Dad should be walking through that door with his dogs. Or when he'd be firing up the grill, making supper for the family and whoever else wants to stop by. Instead, our nights are filled with silence, unanswered questions, and mom and I asking each other what we're going to eat for supper - usually deciding on ordering out. And, sleepless nights.

The weather here has been amazing the past couple of days. Sunny, 80's-90's, simply beautiful. Something that 99% of people around here are happy about - when the dirty melting snow finally gives way to green grass and flower blossoms. For me, it's hard to be happy right now. Each sunny day brings startling new reminders of not having Dad here anymore.

Our lawn looks awful - something Dad took great pride in, fertilizing and mowing until dark many nights. We have yet to plant any flowers, Dad would already have cased out all the greenhouses in a 60 mile radius to find the best, most colorful flowers to plant in his 10 flower beds around the house. We are going camping this weekend, something I would've looked so forward to - and this year I'm having a hard time even getting the camper picked up and ready to go.

And even the simple things ... like turning on our air conditioner. Who knew that Mom and I wouldn't even know how to get the air working in the house?!?! It was literally over 80 degrees in the house today, until Mom called an air conditioning company to come turn it on for us.

Each new realized missing piece in our lives brings about sleepless nights. So here I sit, once again, questions running through my head, looking for answers that I'll never get. Trying to be thankful for the sunny days ahead.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

When I started back to work, I asked to not have any patients with pneumonia or in the end stages of life. I just couldn't handle it. Baby steps first - I eventually started taking patients with more stable pneumonia, the ones not on oxygen or doing poorly. It went okay, each day getting a little easier. It brought back some memories, of course ... all the different antibiotics, breathing treatments, basically a lot of the same things they were doing for Dad in Arizona. Only on my patients, they were helping.

I worked over this past weekend, and apparently thought the baby steps were overrated - and started on my leaps and bounds. I took a patient who I knew was in the end stages of her life, quite possibly might not even make it through my shift. I thought that was a big step in itself ... but then not too far into my shift, I had to have a conference with my pt's family regarding her care. She was unresponsive to begin with, and when her blood sugar became extremely low I had to speak with them about not treating her hypoglycemia ... that her doctor and I felt it would be too hard on her, and that this was her body's way of shutting down. (mind you, the patient had already been on hospice and the family new she was dying)

I was nervous - I surely couldn't break down in front of this poor family! I sucked it up, dove right in, and it went well. We all agreed on a plan of care for the pt, and that was that. It was later that I broke down. I went in to turn the pt, and she all of a sudden woke up a little bit and was doing some communicating with her family. I stepped back to the outside, to let them have time with the pt. while she was awake and coherent. Then it hit me. This family didn't know how lucky they were to have some last time with her. To get to hear her voice again, see her eyes, hear her answer them. The tears started to well up, then started to fall, and I had to leave the room.

Because I never got to do any of that with Dad. I never got to tell him good bye. I never got to see him awake one more time, to hear his laugh, see his smile, see that mischevious glint in his eyes. I never got to exchange another I love you with him. Of course even when he wasn't responding, we talked to him - and I know he heard us. And I know he knew I loved him, we always told each other - and I have no regrets where that is concerned. But it all happened so suddenly, it just feels like we got cheated out of time with him, time to say our last good bye's and words to each other.

"Those who live in the Lord never say good bye for the last time."

My Mom has used that quote for years - I believe starting when my aunt lost her son suddenly, over 20 years ago. I need to keep reminding myself of that - and I need to look forward to being able to say hello to him, when we get to spend eternity together - and never have to say good bye ever again. It's hard, to have to keep reminding myself of that. Because it all hurts so badly, and I would do anything to have him back. My heart is hurting right now, it seems more broken than ever. And sometimes I wonder if it will ever get any better.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Perfect Faith?

I read a quote last week in my daily devotional, and it has stuck with me for the long haul. Continually I think of this quote, especially through all that is going on in my head the last few months. The quote?? It's by Beth Moore ...

"We won't walk in perfect faith for the rest of our lives, but we can walk in prevailing faith."

This message has meant a lot to me - and has helped me get through a lot of my own thoughts since I read it. I have been struggling through where my faith lies at this point in my life, because I'm not as "perfect" with my faith as I would like to be, and I'm not as "perfect" in my faith as others that I know or others around me. This quote spoke to me ... letting me know that it's okay, I don't have to have that perfect faith that I've longed for for so long. But if I have prevailing faith, a faith that leads me to Him through all of life's ups and down's, then that's enough - and that I'm right where I need to be.

My faith has definitely been tested the past 2 months. I have gone through all of the questions ... most of all, the why's - why him? why my daddy? why at that time? why in that way? why so soon? I have found myself questioning my beliefs, questioning everything I've been taught for the past 27 years. At the end of every day, I realize that in order to get through everything - in order for my questions to be answered, in order to see my daddy again someday, then my faith needs to stay intact. I need to continue to believe in Him, even though everything in me right now is so angry with Him, and wants to scream and ask him my questions. Every once in awhile, for just a split second, I want to NOT believe. To not have faith, to just throw down everything and give up.

Then I realize that my faith is what has helped me get this far, and I wouldn't be where I am today without it. It's not a perfect faith - but it has been a prevailing faith, no matter how hard it has been tested lately. I need it to hold onto right now, I need something there to get me through the rough times.

We got Dad's death certificates in the mail - finally! - this week. Not that I was in a rush to receive them, there's just a lot of business that needs to be taken care of that we need them for. Anyways, there were three things listed ... 1. Bacterial pneumonia, unknown source 2. Failure to thrive 3. Ischemic cardiomyopathy

The first one is what hurts the worst. The cardiomyopathy - we've known for years he has that. It's what we always thought would end up taking his life. When in fact, it was the pneumonia. Of an unknown source. The why's return yet again. Why couldn't they figure out what bug he had? Why wouldn't any of the 4 antibiotics he was on help it? Why could they never figure out what was happening, what caused it, and how to get rid of it?? I can't help but still continue to think that if only they had figured it out, Dad would still be with us today. And it makes me angry as hell that with the medical advances being made, they couldn't figure out why my Dad was so sick.

So yet again, I'm back to that faith. I need to have faith that the doctors did everything they could, that all the tests that could have been done were, that it simply was just his time - time to end his suffering, his pain. I try to believe it - but darnit, sometimes it's just so hard.