Last week was a rough week - continuing on into this week. I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time of late. Maybe it's because now that summer is here, it is finally hitting me that he's really gone. I can't pretend he's on a trip anymore, or still in AZ. I picture his face, bright smile and twinkling eyes, and I'm reminded that I will never see that face again. Or at least not for a long time. I really can't pick up the phone and call him. I can't ask him about my 401K at work that I just got a letter on. There will be no more Brewers game with Dad, no more shopping for Mom with him, no more camping or grilling out over the summer.
We camped over the weekend, and all weekend I was painfully reminded about the simple things that I can't ask him anymore. We also had some big family events - on Friday it was Drew's birthday party, and Sunday was Langston's baptism. He would have been so proud, attending all the festivities with a big grin, playing the part of the picture perfect doting "bapa."
The other night on my way home from work, a song came on the radio. It was a song by Steven Curtis Chapman, titled, "Miracle of The Moment". The song begins with these lyrics:
It's time for letting go,
All of our if only's
'Cause we don't have a time machine.
And even if we did,
Would we really want to use it?
Would we really want to go change everything?
I thought about these simple lines, and broke down in tears. Because the truth is, YES. I would want to use a time machine. I would love to go back to the beginning of March, and change the life altering events that transpired in that month. I have a lot of "if only's" regarding that time ...
If only ... I had pleaded with Dad to go to the ER on Saturday night, after he called and said he had bronchitis - and I had a feeling, I just KNEW it was something more than that - instead of waiting until Sunday
If only ... I had talked to him earlier on Sunday, and had realized how sick he was that day
If only ... I had talked to him about how he was really feeling when we first arrived in AZ, instead of talking about and making plans for when he got out of the hospital
If only ... I had talked to the pulmonologist more about a breathing tube when he first mentioned it, instead of being too scared to ask the right questions, afraid of getting the answers I didn't want to hear
If only ... I had spent the night with him the night before he stopped breathing, since he was getting worse - would I have had the nerve to request a breathing tube be put in, saving him from coding?
If only ... I wasn't so afraid of switching to a trach, and had listened to his wonderful nurse Tammy and requested it be done
If only ... I didn't have to be caught in the middle, a nurse knowing what was going on but still afraid to ask the right questions - the daughter in me terrified of what the answers might be
Would any of it have made a difference? If I had done even just one of those things, would Dad still be with us today? Would it really have changed the course of the last 3 months?
I know I need to stop beating myself up over everything, because it was out of my hands. But for the past week, I've only been able to picture Dad laying in his hospital bed, breathing tube in, monitors beeping, IV's running, being poked more times than a pin cushion, and wondering what I could have done differently to obtain a better outcome.
Deep down, I know there is nothing I could have done. Nothing that would have made any of this different. But that doesn't make my mind stop thinking all of it. It doesn't make my heart hurt any less, or the days any easier to handle. It hurts so bad, and I miss him so much ... so I do continue to wish for that time machine. And yes, I really would want to use it.