My Dad

serenity_now_2007November 22, 2008

Hi, everyone... I just want to go ahead ---while I still have a bit of clarity in me and before things inevitably get crazy--- and send out all my emails and status updates, and that includes this forum as you all have become a very real part of my daily life even if this is a "virtual" setting...

Anyway, here's the deal. My Dad's lung cancer has taken a very sudden turn for the worst. I've bee told by his doctor that they've decided to take him off all treatments and we are now in the stage where it's just about "keeping him comfortable" and, well, waiting for him to die. (To put it bluntly.) The doctor told me straight up: "we're not even sure he'll make it through the weekend and it'll be a miracle if he makes it to Thanksgiving".

So instead of flying this morning to visit my mom & SF for the holiday, I am now at my Dad's. Left at 4:45 a.m. to catch the earliest flight I could. Have no idea how long I'll be here. My mother is flying in tomorrow night to stay at a hotel nearby. She is here to be there for ME, and I have told my Dad & SM that, and that it will be ENTIRELY up to HIM whether he wants to see her one last time while she's here, and if so, fine and if not, fine. I've made it very clear that my mother will in no way foist herself on anyone (and since she's never done anything of the sort ever, there is no reason to fear she would). If SM tries to pull any hard-core bulls**t at all ---such as denying me access to my Dad or trying to start some s**t, My Momma is there to back me up. I have never had the luxury of this kind of "back-up" in dealing with SM before ---always on her "turf"--- and I find I am really needing it now. I can already tell SM is upset by this state of affairs, but she really has nothing to be threatened by unless/until she starts some sort of crap.

Anyway, I'll try to here & there give updates, but I honestly have no idea what's coming. Just didn't want everyone to worry if I become totally MIA, like we are all somewhat worried about TOS...

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kkny

My prayers are with you.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
believer

Dear Serenity,

I am sorry for what you are having to go through. 10 years ago my dad died of leukemia. It was on a Saturday. The doctors said they didn't expect him to make it through the weekend. I had a few moments of alone time with him around 1:00 in the after noon. He was in a mild comatose state, like he was sleeping. I kissed him and whispered in his ear that I loved him and that it was OK if he let go and we all would be fine. He passed at 3:00. It was peaceful and oddly quite a beautiful thing.

I will be praying for you....for protection from anyone that would try to use this situation to attract the wrong kind of attention to themselves...for peace for your family, for strength, for you to feel the love that your Dad has had for you. May you feel the presence of all of those that love and support you.

The days ahead will be difficult....people that were a$$e$ before may be worse during this time. Don't engage, if at all possible. Just spend time with your dad in your heart and in your memories. I'm so very sorry....Kim

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gajopa

Serenity, I'm so sorry about your dad's deteriorating health. I hope his wife can manage to get through this without showing her butt and I'm glad your mother will be there with you. My guess is that she won't be allowed anywhere around him. It shows a persons true character when they behave badly during a grieving period. Many years ago when my then boyfriend, later husband was in surgery and not expected to live his ex-wife and his mother (whom he hadn't seen in many years) showed up at the hospital and proceeded to act up. They walked the hall outside surgery, wanting to make sure they got in to see him first. He pulled through and was able to tell the doctor he ONLY wanted to see me. But meanwhile I had called my best friend 3 hours away and she was there before he got out of surgery and ran interference for me since I was in no shape to. That can mean so much when you're alone.

Please keep us informed as you can and know that our thoughts are with you. Gayle

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cindy_pond

Serenity,
Hopefully everyone will see the importance of just being there with your dad for one last time. I know what you are going through, I was there when my dad was dying and the emotions were quite raw. Everyone behaved differently, from snapping at one another to crying together. The night that he died, the nurse had told me he would linger like that for days... I hadn't left his side for nearly two weeks. I slept next his bed in a chair. So I decided to go home for the night. I leaned over him and kissed him and told him I loved him. I remember he felt so warm. That night he died. It was as if he didn't want me to see it happen. So just go be with him and your stepmom, and maybe even your mom. Maybe everyone can make peace and he can go knowing that you are all ok...My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kathline

Serenity,

Im so sorry. The next few days and weeks are going to be very hard to live through, but its important , both to you and to your dad, that you are there. He needs you , and you need him. It doesnt make it hurt less, but it will make the memories down the road much easier.

My father passed away in September from lung cancer, and I flew to be with him for the last week of his life. It was hard to watch someone that I remember as healthy and strong, being frail and weak, and gasping for his last few breaths. My stepmother was okay with my mother visiting my father, and my father was glad to see my mother. I think when people are about to die, they often like to know that the people in their past with whom they had issues, do not hold grudges and forgive any hurts. It helped my father pass peacefully, to see my mother, and I will be forever grateful to my stepmom for not trying to get in the way of that.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sweeby

I'm so sorry Serenity -- Just go and be there for him, and let him know that even when you're not in the room with him, that you're there. Relive your happiest moments with him, if he's able to listen. He will enjoy knowing you remember, and it might even defrost your SM's heart a little.

I lost my wonderful mother this past July to lung cancer, and not a day goes by that I don't wish she were still here to share with.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gerina

Dear Serenity,

I'm truly sorry about your father. Watching a loved one make their transition is not an easy thing to do even under the best of circumstances. It's wonderful that you have your mom with you for support. Kathleen is right about the upcoming difficulty you may experience within the next few weeks. I wish I had something to say to make you feel better, but having been in your shoes before, I know there's really not much that one can say to ease the pain of your situation. I will send good thoughts to you where ever you are. Geri

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justnotmartha

Serenity, I'll be wishing you and your father just that in the days to come. Be strong ~ I'm so glad to know your mother is there with you. Please check in with us as you can, and we so appreciate you letting us know of your situation.
Sending hugs . . .

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
imamommy

Serenity, my thoughts are with you and your family.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nivea

Serenity, my thoughts are with you and your family. I wish I could give you a hug right now since I don't really know what to say. Its great that your Mom is coming there to be with you, I think that will help out a lot.

Please keep us posted, even just to vent.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eandhl

My thoughts and prayers are with you and I am sending "strength vibes" your way.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quirk

oh, serenity, I'm so sorry for you and your dad. I'm glad you have your mom there, and I wish you all the strength and support you need to get through this.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
silversword

Blessings to you and your family.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovehadley

Serenity,

I am really sorry. My prayers are with you during this time.

(((HUGS)))

I'm glad you are able to be with your dad.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pseudo_mom

My thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
finedreams

i am very sorry about your father and I will be thinking of you and your dad these days.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
serenity_now_2007

Hi, all--

My Dad passed away this morning, quite suddenly. He had been lucid and pain-free (thanks to morphine) for the entire time leading up to his death, tired and somewhat uncomfortable but functioning basically okay. This morning at about 9:30 he coughed up a small amount of blood but since this has happened before we weren't overly alarmed. Then about 45 minutes later he coughed and suddenly started hemmoraging a huge amount of blood. He sat up in bed, as though to get up and to the bathroom sink, but he fell down, unconscious before he even it the ground. There he was, on the floor by his bed, surrounded by a pool of splashy, splattered blood. As you can imagine ---or anyone who's been through seeing anything similar can remember--- it's not a pretty sight. But I truly mean it when I say that to me it was in an odd way a comforting sight. This is because my worst nightmare had been to watch him have to go through day after day of a long, slow, withering death in half-conscioussness, wasting away to nothing, unable to speak, gasping for his last breaths and waiting to die. Compared to that image, what I saw today was was like a lovely, honorable effigy. I am beside myself, I still have some blood on my clothes from clutching him, I haven't slept in over two days, I have a throbbing headache no matter how much aspirin I take, and I bawled like a baby for what seemed like hours. But I am just so glad to know he did not suffer and that I made it here to be with him and say all I wanted to say and have a few good talks and wonderful hugs with him.

My mother did not end up coming here. SM made a big enough stink about my mother even having the audacity to show up in the same county that it became just too much tension and guilt. This was decided last night. (All the while, SM saying in sugary voice: "We've got EACH OTHER to lean on... we'll be there for each other...") As of now, after he has passed, my mom and I have agreed that it's not really necessary for her to come here now. Instead, I plan on going to see her within approx. a week.

A little while after he died, SM and I were talking about what to do about his funeral (really it will be a 'memorial service' since he'll be cremated and since he didn't want a big stiff formal funeral). For the first hour or two after he died, she was behaving in that same sugary sweet way and we were figuring that we'd have it this Saturday or the Saturday afterwards. Then she suddenly began talking about having it in the Spring instead. I may or may not be notified when that happens.

She and I have gone through the day without any cross words or any negative incident, both of us behaving well to each other, and I had told her (because I mean it from the bottom of my heart, as simply THE RIGHT THING TO DO) that I want to be as helpful as possible to her at this time. And again, she'd been saying all this stuff just yesterday about "we'll be there for each other" and how she "so hopes we can be lifelong friends..." But within three hours of my Dad's death, quite literally before he was even cold, before his body was even picked up by the funeral home, him laying dead in the bed, literally 'over his dead body' she was already starting to hint that she wants me out of the house. And really, out of the state, too. Which, as I said, I already will be soon enough. But there are a few things I need and want to take care of and co-arrange with her (i.e. splitting up his ashes, co-writing his obit, calling MY family members in-state, etc.) let alone just wanting to be in my Dad's house a little while longer, let alone sleep the first sleep in days, let alone cry some more, let alone see a few people. Wouldn't my "new best friend" want to "look after me" by at least not putting me out in the cold for that week? Let alone on the day of my father's death!!! I'm willing to respect her wishes by leaving a few days earlier than I might have otherwise and paying for a hotel for the other few nights. But it ISN'T just about her and her needs. We both have to make certain sacrifices and accomodations. If she wants to kick me out NOW, she's going to have to have me arrested.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kkny

Serentity -- I am so sorry. About everything.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gerina

Serenity,
You have my deepest sympathy.
Geri

P.S. Don't let SM cheat you out of your needs, especially when it comes to your father's memorial.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
quirk

Serenity-- ((hugs and sympathy))

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nivea

Serenity, I am so sorry. ((((HUGS))))

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justnotmartha

Serenity, I am so sorry for your loss, but so glad for both you and your dad that is was quick. It is truly shameful at a time like this your SM still can't behave like even half a human. Do your best to just tune her out - maybe if she gets no - and I mean no - reaction from you she'll lose interst and wonder on. Talk to her when she is being civil, simply walk away when she is not. But do not waiver in your right to be involved in the arrangements. As a precaution, you might want to talk to your mom about doing a priviate little something with those in town you know he was close to.

Just in case, I'm packing up The Lamp, some tissues and chocolate to send you. :-) (((hugs)))

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
believer

serenity......My sympathies are with you dear. I know exactly what you meant in your first paragraph. You have been through a very difficult experience, life changing.

So sad that SM thinks she wins by pushing you around and then out. What a sad testament to her self esteem and to who she thought she was to you dad. If she was secure about all of it she would be able to humble herself and show genuine kindness. You are showing great strength and character. Any dad would be proud to have you as a daughter. Praying for you and SM. Tighten that seat belt and don't let her throw you. She has no control over your love for your dad.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ceph

Serenity - I hope you can stay strong through all this.
Losing a parent is terrible...
You're in my thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colleenoz

Sorry for your loss, Serenity, but as you are, glad it wasn't a painful, long-drawn out affair for your Dad.
We all know your SM will hold the memorial as soon as you're out of town. So I'd either insist on holding it this weekend as you originally talked about, or organising your own memorial service. She can come or not.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sweeby

I'm so sorry for your loss, Serenity. I'm glad the very end was quick and that you were able to be there for him at the end.

If putting together a memorial service this Saturday proves to cause too much strife with StepMom, I'd ask a very close fried (someone StepMom would never exclude) to tip you off in case SM holds one later.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
finedreams

i am so very sorry for your loss. hang in there. this is not easy....

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mom1sm2

So sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eandhl

My thoughts are with you. Please accept my Sincere Sympathy. Wishing you the strength to get through this difficult time.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
serenity_now_2007

Thank you SO much, all of you, for all of your kind words and thoughts. Every word from every single person means so much and really helps to deal with all the emotions. You really realize that at a time like this.

Situation with staying at house with SM is that by now too many family & friends have balked when she's told them what she thinks is her tale of woe enduring me staying here. Since my Dad's ashes won't even be delivered to us til Friday, it's just become (been made) clear that I am not leaving before then. It is something of a hell on earth having to hear her on the phone bragging on how great she was for him, and what "he would have wanted" (not true) about memorial service in Spring, etc.... But I am coping by keeping in constant contact with people and wandering around my Dad's house, reliving memories from my visits.

Making sure to gather all my family photos, gifts to my Dad and other sentimental items b/n he and I before she can "lose them" in "That Somewhere Place" (aka throw them in the garbage).

Tomorrow morning is will reading. I am incredibly nervous. Even more than finding out my dad was weak enough to let his wishes of many years get worked over by this woman to the point where I very well might be disinherited, is the fear of sitting in the room with her and seeing her smug face and hearing her latest favorite smug words: "You're only disappointed by your own expectations" and "things work out the way they're supposed to." I admit I will struggle to not feel that my dad really didn't love or care about me much after all... I don't know how I'll bear that, but somehow I'll have to. Please wish me luck coping...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
finedreams

of course your dad loved you very much. don't even think of it. just remember he was ill for a long time and whatever decisions were made he made them while being unwell.

and yes make sure you get sentimentral things out of the house ASAP, pack them now ahead of time.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kkny

Your a good person and a good daughter -- no one can take that away from you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gerina

I agree with everything Finedreams said.

I don't know if this will be of any comfort to you, but I was very, very young when I lost my aunt who was really more like a mom to me than my mom. This is something only a child could think, but somehow I got this bee in bonnet that when I was thinking of her, she was thinking of me. Think of your dad and he will think of you. I can't imagine that he didn't love you with all of his heart.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sweeby

You're in my thoughts --

And Finedreams' post is worth remembering. Your father was ill for a long time and under her spell/care. His will may only stipulate what was in his mind during those last few months when he wasn't thinking 100% clearly.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
norcalgirl78

Serenity, my deepest sympathies to you.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
serenity_now_2007

Again, than you all for your sympathetic words. Today has been a more peaceful, comforting day. My Dad's obit came out in the local paper, one SM and I composed relatively quickly, to get it in on time, and I'm pretty pleased with it. Then another stream of phonecalls, flowers and food from those who found out about his passing thru the obit. My Dad was a one-of-a-kind character liked, loved and admired by even more people than I already knew.

And he loved, cared for and protected me even more than I knew. This morning was the reading of his will, and my Dad did the right thing. The thing he'd always talked about for so many years, what he wanted to do all along, which is to be fair and to show us through his last wishes that he loved us equally. Even though it was not what SM wanted, and even though she had to eat some crow, even she took it with a decent amount of grace because it was just that fair and even-handed.

I will be leaving in a couple days, after his ashes arrive and after visiting and reminiscing with a few more family friends. In the meantime, I'm still doing a lot of that half-dazed wandering around thing, giving extra cuddles to his cats, talking on the phone, napping here & there. Just soaking up what I can of the visual impressions of his presence here and the memories in this house which has been a home-away-from home for so many years but which will never be the same once I leave.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kkny

Serenity, again our prayers are with you.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mom_of_4

Serenity, I am very sorry for your loss. You are definately in my thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
believer

Serenity....Your touching words bring back such memories for me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. There is an understanding amongst those who have lost a parent. You tend to grow up in a way that you hadn't been forced to before. Bless you.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pfllh

Serenity, you are your daddy's little girl. Although not outwardly apparent with the SM there, you have always been in his heart.
The time you got to spend with him will now be precious memories but with love. Remember those good times which bring a smile and perhaps some tears but remember. Noone can take that away.
I'm so sorry that times have been made hard for you. She shouldn't have done that. Sad, but when being alone hits her, she will regret all that she has missed by her own actions. Hopefully it will change her.
My heart goes out to you. Just close your eyes and he'll be there just like you want him to be.
Lynn

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pseudo_mom

Serenity ... has anyone suggested not just soaking in the memories but taking pictures of them as well ... favorite spots around the house ... "his chair" ...etc. or video taping ??

Sorry for your loss

Upside!!! you can tell her to go fly a kite and be done with her.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sylviatexas1

I'm so sorry, serenity.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 6:13PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Trying to figure out how to be a good adult stepdaughter...
My mother died eight years ago, and my dad remarried...
LindaLou22
grown adult stepchildren
I married my husband 2 years ago, his wife had died...
yvonne1969
7 year old step son troubles please help
Hello everyone, I need some advise please. I have been...
Nikki27
Step son not interested in moving out... Please help!!!
My husband and I have been married for just over 2...
hdghnurse
His ex controls the situation through the kids
I have been dating my BF for over 3 years now and his...
chester13
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™