Today’s Guest Blogger post is courtesy of Janie, the blogger behind Kaleidoscope Eyes. It is a beautiful post about the kindness of a friend during a dark time. I often read Janie’s blog about developments regarding the new bridge project in our area, but this piece is a touching peek in to her personal side. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Thank you for contributing, Janie!
The call came one minute after 9 a.m. (my digital clock is a few minutes fast). “I have bad news for you,” the voice said, identifying herself as a doctor. I got angry at her for what nana called a “lack of bedside manner” and silently cried.
We knew Dad was fading. What we didn’t know was if our goodbyes and I love yous would be our last to him every night when we left his bedside. Mom and I arrived at the hospital and spoke with staff, compassionate and loving. Dad’s doctor came into the room and hugged us.
After calling my brother, I called my friend. He was there for me during Dad’s illness, comforting me, sharing his own experiences.
Doctors told us dementia is cruel, plays tricks, teases, gives false information. I didn’t believe it, not in Dad.
What happened the previous month could only be described as a miracle.
His brown eyes opened wide when I walked into his hospital room one afternoon. I greeted him, and then I heard the sweetest sound: his voice. I asked him a question, and he answered; I asked him something else. He again responded.
From somewhere far away, Dad had climbed out, back to us. Mom and I believe it’s because we demanded that he be taken off both sedative medications. I blamed them for his fall in the rehabilitation facility; since he’d lost weight and was eating little, his body wasn’t able to absorb it.
And then another hospital and situation later, he fell back into that dark place.
My parents married on October 23, 1955, and had just celebrated their 58th anniversary. Dad passed away 24 hours before a work meeting. He would have wanted me to do the next right thing, like he did.
I went, paid attention, wrote my story, and cried privately. Dad may have been there, too, because more cake than I ate was missing from my plate. Dad loved cake.
My friend sent me a heartwarming note that night; the two dozen roses he bought for mom and me touched me. I’d been trying to find a car service to take us to Dad’s funeral. On the spot, he offered to drive us. More tears. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of Dad’s passing, and my friend’s kindness.
A cold March 2 morning was warmed as he and mom talked in the front seat while I sat, dazed, in the back. I’d been up until past midnight writing a eulogy that would never be perfect.
My friend and the funeral director each took one of mom’s elbows to escort her into the chapel; he met our relatives who came to pay respects. As I started reading the eulogy, I saw him look up at me. After the funeral, we drove back and talked; he called that night to see how we are.
When I feel blue, I read the email he sent to me the night my Dad died. What he did for me, for us, that dark day, the talks we had during the year and months before Dad’s passing, and continue to have, reminds me there are angels on Earth. I love him and am grateful he chose me as his friend.