Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I'm back home for a few nights.  Sigh.... Hubby and I had already been planning to go to Augusta last weekend to visit my parents and brother.  I called my mom late Thursday afternoon to tell her we'd come Friday.  That's when I found out that my dad was not feeling well that day.  Soon after my mom arrived at the nursing home that afternoon, he went to sleep.  My brother, who is a doctor, was there and knew that the end was near.

We arrived around noon on Friday and sat with him, along with my mother and brother.  This continued Saturday.  I sent hubby home to Auburn Saturday so he could relieve our daughters who had been going to our house to take care of our dogs.  Because it was a holiday weekend, we could not find anyplace open to board them.

We all stayed at my brother's home during this time.  Sunday a.m. brother John, mom, and I were figuring out what we'd have for breakfast.  John called the nursing home to see how things were going. Dad's breathing had slowed to about 9 breaths per minutes.  We skipped breakfast and went immediately.  Dad peacefully died about 30 minutes later.

Random shots of my brother's kitchen backsplash - a mosaic of one of Van Gogh's works.

That night John grilled us all a big steak to unwind from all the funeral preparations we'd done all day.

His sweet doggies (Cody shown here) provided much comic relief.

Monday I drove Mom to Decatur, AL, for the funeral.  A seven hour drive.  Brother John and his girlfriend came later that night - they brought Dad's ashes. That afternoon Mom and I (along with my daughter Emily) finalized the arrangements, met with the Episcopal priest, etc., etc.  Hubby and his father came Tuesday a.m.

We had a small graveside service Tuesday morning.  Our daughter, Elizabeth, played Amazing Grace on the clarinet during the service.  Oh.  My.  That was so moving.

I drove home to Auburn late yesterday afternoon in my mother's car.  She rode back to Augusta with my brother and his girlfriend.  Hubby was in another car with his father.  Our daughters were together in another car.

My Dad has been so difficult in these last few years.  I hope he's no longer mad at me for taking away his car keys and later, for admitting him to a nursing home.  He fought it until the end, saying a few weeks ago that he thought he'd be well enough soon to go home and to drive again, though we knew that would never happen.  I'll really miss you, Dad - we all do.

I'm driving back to Augusta Friday to take my mom's car back there and spend the weekend helping her clean out Dad's clothing.  I'm getting all his shirts to make memory quilts for us all.  Hubby is going to come pick me up on Sunday, unless I can talk Mom into coming back here with me to spend some time.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers - they mean more than you'll ever know!


Debby said...

Watching our parents age and becoming their caregivers is such an emotionaly hard time. Your Dad is at peace now and no longer traped in a body of pain and sickness. Prayers to you and your family

Jodi said...

Ahhh, Julia, my heart goes out to you. More prayers for peace and comfort for you and your family...

Gerda O'Leary said...

It will be good for you and your mum to be together.
Thinking of you. Gerda

O'Quilts said...

Such a ride Julia. Never easy. Your post here reminds me of when my father died. We took his ashes and drove with my mother to his hometown of Greenville, Alabama. We had a graveside service with his older sisters and my daughter played Amazing Grace on her flute. Good memories after sad. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

You'll be on an emotional roller coaster for a bit. Doing that memory quilt will comfort you in your time of need.It does help. A good mental thing. Maybe if your mom will stay with you for awhile she can help out with maybe cutting or arranging. Just something the two of you can do that will be special in the process.
Have been thru this with both my parents and it is rough. I have found comfort in their quilts around me. Sending prayers to you and your family. Sue G.