Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Gathering: Ten Years After

I've written about my father several times over the past eight years. Often, the thought of him came about because of days that were special to him, like Memorial Day,

or perhaps memories of something funny or something special popped up for one reason or another. The memories of ten years ago -- August 17, 2004 -- however, are the kind that stay with us all of our lives.

My father had been in poor health. However, the more disturbing thing was that dementia had already taken hold of his life and had begun to rob him of memories and cause him problems with simple everyday living. He had turned 80 the previous spring. The beginning of the end started when he collapsed at home shortly after having been released from a rehabilitation center.

There was really nothing medically that could be done for him. He did not regain consciousness, and what little brain activity he had was likely just random brainwave activity. We all knew what was coming.

A light moment came when someone appeared to talk with my family about organ donation. We were wondering what might potentially be harvested from an 80-year-old man with significant medical issues. When we were told that he would be able to donate his liver to someone in need, several of us started smiling, remembering that my dad had had more than his share of whiskey and beer while we were growing up.

A time was arranged for the family to meet at the hospital as my dad would be taken off the life support system he was on. We were pretty sure that death would come quickly because of his poor health. He was taken off the life-giving machines and the family stood around his hospital bed, arm in arm, crying as we watched my father pass away. Thankfully, as we hoped, death came quickly. I can't even begin to describe how painful those moments were. The words do not exist.

So now, ten years later, the King of Komps and I will go out to the cemetery, maybe with my mother, if she is feeling well enough to do so. The KoK does a great job keeping the grave area looking a way that I am sure my dad would like.

Ten years. Sometimes it seems like so long ago, and sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Your brother does indeed keep it looking nice.

1:12 PM  
Blogger ~Coach said...

Yes, he does maintain it well. My thoughts are with you...

4:50 PM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

Anniversaries are not always happy ones.

I can really identify with the last line in your post. My father's 85th birthday was last Friday. Tough day.

Take care my friend.

6:45 PM  
Blogger angerisagift said...

sounds like yr pops was a righteous dude,professor. when, my moms passed, i had to make that tough decision of taking her off life support and organ donation.the person that asked the questions was more embearassed about them than me. questions like sexual partners,drug use,etc,etc.pretty personal sheeeeeeeeit but i understood bcuz i worked in medical profession and all.just not ready to talk about my mom lifestyle/love life minutes b4 i make the decision to end her life is all.

3:46 PM  

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