Just what it says on the tin…

Until a few months ago, I used to have my homepage set to my blogs home page. I used to like seeing if people had left comments etc. Then it started to upset me, that every time I went online, the words greeting me each day were the words, ‘Rest in Peace Dearest Dad’.

It’s not as though it’s something i need reminding of… and i didn’t have the inclination to write a blog post so i just changed my home page. But then for the last couple of months it’s been easy to avoidmy blog altogether, and I was toying with the idea of just not bothering to come back…everything looks lacklustre beneath the veil of mourning…triviality and meaninglessness are things to despise when pain knows no bounds.

But then not everything has to be deep and heavy, does it?

So I found myself here this evening, unexpectedly really…and decided to write a post to say whatever it is that i’m trying to say.

I have some apologies to make…i have recieved some lovely, caring emails from some lovely, caring blog buds and i have not got around to responding because i didn’t really feel up to it i guess. So Lorna, Alexa & Suz, Shell please accept my apologies. Apologies in advance if i am missing anyone out, i don’t mean to…i just have a poor memory. That you thought of me while i was absent from the blogosphere, was very much appreciated.

I’ll end this by saying that a few weeks ago, myself, Mum, my children and my brother, all went to a place of personal significance to us and to our dear departed loved one…and while there, we scattered Dad’s ashes….we said a prayer and then each threw a rose on the river.

Glancing at the calendar on my laptop as i write this, i realise that it is 3 months since Dad died. If absence makes the heart grow fonder then my heart could not hold more love for him or miss him more.

But it is the way of things that life continues without each of us…we only play our part in this great extravaganza of living for a short while, until we too must take our final bow…and for every pull of the heart towards oblivion when darkness has us in its clutches, there is still an identifiable will to survive and overcome.

Laughter escapes our mouths even in the midst of grief…sometimes at the most innappropriate times…and enjoyment, though perhaps tainted, can still be had…the various machinations that conspire to awaken us, to move us through each day and motivate us toward living don’t just do so as for an automoton…

There is meaning and purpose in living, it is called love….and it goes on beyond the grave.

Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments

Rest in Peace, Dearest Dad…

Many thanks to those of you who have kindly emailed, left comments and sent cards from around the world (particularly at this time i must mention special thanks to dear Mimi, Antonia, and Alexa!).

The burden of grief bears heavy upon us all who are mourning, but it is said for good reason that God never gives us more than we can bear, and we shall shoulder the loss of our dear departed loved one, somehow.

I would like to let you know, dear readers of this blog, friends and family, that Dad will be received into church at 6pm this evening, prior to the Ash Wednesday Mass which will take place at 7.30pm.

Tomorrow afternoon, the 10th March 2011, Dad’s Funeral Mass will take place at 1pm at Our Lady and St. Benedicts Catholic Church, and will be followed by his cremation at 2.30pm. A reception/wake to celebrate Dad’s life, will then follow.

The cause of Dad’s death is still being ascertained and a full and complete death certificate has not yet been issued, because it was necessary for Dad to have a post mortem despite having passed away in hospital after a very long illness. However, we are very grateful that we are now able to lay Dad to rest, despite the necessary investigations into the exact cause of Dad’s death.

We kindly ask that there will be no flowers at the funeral except for the large spray of red roses which will be from Dad’s immediate and closest family members. Instead, we ask  (this is for information purposes only, i am not requesting donations!!!) that if people feel so inclined, they would please make a donation (to be paid/given to the Funeral Directors or myself or Phil),so that we may fulfill our hope of purchasing breathing equipment (in the form of a nebuliser, possibly two) for Respiratory Ward 81 at the City General Hospital, where Dad was cared for, but sadly, later died.

Now, here is a request!

If you could, would you please offer up a prayer for the repose of Dad’s soul?

Thank you.

It may be of interest for you to read the online version of the obituary that we placed in the city newspaper last week.

Click here to read it.

Posted in Home & Family | 16 Comments

Once more…

may i beg your prayers….for the repose of my dear Daddies soul. Dad passed during the early hours of this monring (Sunday) at about 3:50am. Mum and i were at his bedside as he passed. Words really can’t express how we are feeling, but I know my dear friends, that death is a visitor to each of our families, that it comes to us all, that you know something of this agony. Dad passed holding the ‘holding cross’ that he has had with him all his time in hospital these past 6 weeks. He motioned for it to be put in his hand shortly before he passed.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you, as do all my near and dear ones, for all your many prayers and your kindnesses…you have helped to keep us going all along this arduous 12 month journey which Dad has so bravely endured

Shortly before he passed he said, ‘Oh God….no more’. ~A little while later he breathed his last.

We stayed until almost 8am, my dear brother left work and travelled up to come sit with Dad a while, as Dad lay peacefully, just as if sleeping…with a rosary in one hand and the holding cross in the other….because of the special air pressure mattress on the hospital bed, which moves as any pressure is placed at whatever point, it almost seemed from time to time, that Dad was still breathing….when i had alerted the nursing staff, when Dad seemed no longer to be inhaling the oxygen from his mask, even the nurse thought at first that he had fallen asleep…he had been so poorly when we arrived at the hospital…it was such a blessing that beofre he passed he finally was able to rest a little….then close his eyes, and leave us for a better life, a healthy life, meeting now, now doubt with his much loved family members who had left this world before him.

The Catholic Chaplain came to Dad’s bedside after Dad had passed, he prayed, we prayed, it was good for the soul, it was what Dad would have wanted.

Now begins the difficult part, the practicalities of dealing with all that must be done….but they are a sign of the life Dad lived on earth…we are a sign that he loved on earth, and how we love him so.

Of your charity my dear friends, pray for my dear departed Dad…I will write more, because i may want to or need to, but for now i will leave this here.

My Dad’s name as many of you know, is Peter, he became Catholic only in recent years after many many years, more than 60 of claiming atheism or agnosticism to be his belief system, or lack of beliefsysytem, whatever the hell it was. When he became Catholic he took the Saints name of Thomas, as in ‘doubting Thomas’….we are so glad Dad found his faith, and that he lived his faith right up until the end, to the best of his ability.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon him, and through the mercy of God may he rest in peace. Amen.

Goodnight my darling Daddy…

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Update of Feb 1st

Hey folks,

Many thanks for the encouraging and supportive comments on the previous post. Just a note to say that Dad is still with us and has confounded the doctors with his determination to fight this nasty illness. Having said that, the night before last (in the early hours of Sunday monring – i think) Dad deteriated rapidly and the doctor called for us to go to hospital and once more, advised us to prepare ourselves for the worst. He now has double pneumonia – ie, pneumonia in both lungs. He surely is the strongest and most stoic man i have ever met.

Dad isn’t drinking much now and he is only drinking very little…the past few days, though he is lucid, it takes him all his strength  just to keep breathing in and out and so because we can’t converse he has been writing notes, yesterday he handed me one that said ‘I thought i had been called last night’.

Today i handed Dad a note saying that whichever of us goes first has to pray the rest of our family into heaven. He nodded in agreement.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Of your charity

Thank you so much for your prayers, they are very much appreciated.

I do feel a pest begging more prayers, but i can’t tell you how desperately Dad needs them…though i shall try.   The past 48  hours have been so fraught for us all.  Everything came to a head yesterday morning when after we had spent part the night with Dad…and come back home for a few hours rest, we recieved a phone call telling us to come to hospital as Dad may not have long left.  When we arrived a doctor took us in to a room and told us that Dad’s heart is terribly erratic and under a lot of strain and that the pneumonia is now back and that he has fluid developing  in his lungs. She actually said that she thought he would have ‘gone’ before we got to the hospital…and it only took us half an hour to get there.

He rallied all day and all night and we were advised for close family to come to see Dad while there was chance. My brother and his girlfriend were on a weekend break but came as soon as we called, they spent a good few hours at the hospital with us all.

My brother made the long  journey back home and we  (me, mum, my daughter) remained at the hospital. We took it in turns to stay at Dad’s bedside but by 2.30am this morning (Tuesday) my daughter was slumped over in a chair so i took her back home. A couple of hours later the hospital phoned to say Mum needed collecting as she too was poorly….the nurse had taken her blood pressure and it was ‘sky high’.

I drove back to the hospital at about 4.30am and picked mum up and brought her home. As Dad seemed to be resting at last (he has had such a terrible and restless and labouring  time of it these past few weeks in hospital) we decided to stay at home a few hours to get some rest and that is what we did…making intermittent phone calls to the hospital to find out how Dad was.

The doctor has advised us yesterday that Dad’s heart will probably stop soon….but I tell you all, he is one hell of a fighter and today when we visited he is looking a bit better and he seems to have improved slightly. The blood clots in his lungs near his heart and his irregular heart beat, means that his body is tiring and he is no longer eating more than a spoonful or two of food a day. The doctor has informed us that Dad is on the strongest medication the hospital have. We just don’t know how much more Dad can cope with, and as awful as this might sound, when he sleeps, we pray for a peaceful end for him….then feel guilty for thinking it, because if Dad is fighting so hard to stay with us, we should of course stand shoulder to shoulder with him in his fight….we do try to, but it is so hard watching from the sidelines while each minute brings yet more suffering. I am pro life. I am all for natural birth to natural death, but even I can see how people who love incredibly ill, suffering loved ones may feel so desperately for them that they seek to bring their suffering to an end.

As gloomy as this post must sound, I still have hope Dad will recover from the pneumonia (made so much worse by  the everpresent C.O.P.D and asbestosis that he has), even a nurse said today that some men are so strong ‘inside’ that even when their bodies are frail and weak, that they can go on for days, weeks and even months or a year or more.

Someone mum spoke to at the hospital today said that he was visiting his wife who had been in the hospital continually for the last 51 weeks!

We do not know how things will go from here on in. Tonight Dad was quite lucid, yesterday he was close to death (although he did not know it and actually told us not to be upset as he could ‘feel’ that he was getting better! Of course, that made us cry more!).

All we can pray is that Dad has a peaceful end and  i implore you all to pray for this too. As crappy a christian as i am in my spiritual walk right now… (and i’m pretty damned crappy – haven’t attended Mass for months, but more on that another day)…i phoned the hospital back yesterday, after theyd phoned to tell us how bad things were with Dad…and i asked them to request a priest to come to Dad at his earliest convenience. Sometime yesterday,during one of the few brief periods when Dad was able to communicate with us, he did let us know that he had received the Sacrament from the priest.

In the ealry hours of this morning, Dad, though totally ‘out of it’ made the sign of the cross on two occassions and he said the other day that he had never prayed so much in his life. That Dad is turning to God in his suffering, is giving him comfort….and it is a help to us to know he has his faith still.

Rightio, will sign off here. Be assured that your positive thoughts, well wishes, prayers, kind words and caring are helping to uplift us at this difficult time.

Much love.

Posted in Home & Family, Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Prayer Request

Dear friends,

It’s taken a while, but i’m back in the blogging realm once more after a technologically forced break for the past 9 or 10 weeks. Advent, Christmas and New Year have passed and with 2011 was ushered in a whole heap of ‘stuff’ already.

Hey-ho.

(That’s another story for another day)

The internet eh?

I had hoped to at least have internet access via my mobile phone, but that didn’t work either. At first i was frustrated, then i got lots of things done i wouldn’t have got done had i not been absent from the internet for more than 2 months….but recently it began to frustrate me once again…and not just because i am a cyber addict…but because your prayers would not have gone amiss…. and i had no means of requesting prayer.

There’s a few things i will post about, not right now though. Right now, the only thing i want to say is that Dad is very poorly again. He has been in hospital with pneumonia for the last 10 days. At home he is on 24 hour oxygen when he is ‘doing alright’ (which isn’t actually alright at all, but is, sadly, as good as it gets for Dad). ..in hospital his oxygen supply has been increased to an extremely high level and he is being pumped full of drugs in attempts to get things under control. I say ‘attempts’ because it was thought last week that the pneumonia had gone, but then it came back with a vengeance and at one point the Intensive Care doctors visited Dad during the night and were umming and ahhing about admitting Dad to intensive care. Ultimately, they opted to increase medications and oxygen and to have him admitted to the respiratory ward (which is actually CLOSED at this time)….y’see, for a week he had been on the Trauma Ward where people with injuries/ cancers etc are…due to a…

Shortage. Of. Beds.

The Respiratory Ward is actually closed at the moment – though it has patients on the ward – due to the Norovirus being present and affecting some patients. However, because the respiratory ward has specialist equipment, not to mention, consultants who actually deal with respiratory illness, Dad was able to be admitted to the ward. We are praying he does not get Norovirus now.

So, how do things stand?

We are hopefully optimistic that Dad will get over this bout of pneumonia, though he is terribly weak and even without the pneumonia, Dad’s condition at its ‘baseline’  has become significantly poorer – Mum has now become his 24/7 carer. If you could spare a prayer for Mum also, that would be appreciated, because she has poor health herself and yet she still cares for Dad, day and night, without respite.

The main thing right now is that we still have Dad with us, and for that we are grateful. He is fighting his illness with everything he has got, and doing so without complaint, but it goes hard for him that he is now housebound and so reliant on others for his care. We are however, ever hopeful that there will be improvement in his condition and that when he is back home, that he may become more stable and able to enjoy a better quality of life.

Needless to say though, your prayers are coveted, as always.

Will sign off for now, but hope to resume normal (normal for me) blogging henceforth.

Much Love.

Posted in Home & Family, Prayer Requests | 23 Comments

Ketchup

Hello there my friends,

Thanks so much for your outpourings of goodwishes and prayers for me and mine, especially those for Dad. Dad is home from hospital but he caught an infection in there which we believe was caused by the catheter that was inserted and left in four days with some negligence on the part of those responsible, to ensure that it was emptied when it should have been etc. Dad has ongoing problems that has arisen now because of this and has had meds for this which have not got rid of the problem, so as of today he has to take another med to see if that will work. He just didn’t need any more health issues to battle. Neither Mum nor Dad are sleeping due to Dad’s poor health and especially these recent complications and they are both, understandably, exhausted.

In other news, my Darling Wondergirl celebrated her 19th birthday a couple of days ago. She is doing really well with her commute to uni and is blinding me with political and philosophical terminolgy that goes waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy over my head.

Blunderboy hasn’t been in touch and hasn;t visited my family at all recently, though he did want to see his Grandma and Grandad the other week apparantly, but Dad was in hospital at the time and then too unwell to receive visitors when he returned home.

There are days of late without definition, that blur and blend and before i know it a week has passed…weeks have passed this way, possibly months. ‘Can it really be November already ?’ I ask myself.

But of course it is, i know this.

I don’t really note the significance of any month any more, perhaps it is apathy, perhaps it is living in a cloud of medication and brain fog.

Does it even matter that i don’t know?

I notice some things, though not others.

I  don’t know that i notice the important or unimportant.

This past week i drove by tree after tree with varied burnished leaf colours…today i drive past those same trees and there are no leaves. One week you have something, the next it is gone. There is an impermanence in certain elements of my life. An yet it’s a cycle isn’ it? Old makes way for new, out of the deadness of the fallen leaves, there is left behind something new that wil shine brightly in it’s place.

Regenerating.

Replenishing.

Wounds heal, however slowly, as long as they are not to deep.

The deep wounds can be bound to stop one falling apart, but beneath the swaddling, the scars remain.

A reminder.

It can be hard to look for goodness when we are in a dark place.

It can be hard to see the sweet small mercies and sacrifices made for us.

How many blessings do I/we overlook every day?

I’ve been thinking lately:

1. Do i look to bless others with my life?

2. Do i notice/acknowledge/appreciate the blessings done to/for me by others?

3. Do I give thanks to God, daily, for the many blessings I receive?

4. Do I even acknowledge that God is the source of all the blessings I recieve?

Anyways, I got to thinking….wouldn’t it be great to have some place to write about how i blessed someone else or how i was blessed? I mean, I wouldn’t write a daily post about my blessings, but what if i dedicated a page of the blog to do so..and invited all who visit here, to share theire blessings with one another here so we could all enjoy the blessings we each have done or received?

So, I started up a new page of the blog where we can do precisely that. It’s heading is ‘Share your Blessings’ and at least once a day I aim to write in the com box about my blessings, and i hope that you might want to join me too.

Click this link to ‘Share Your Blessings’

Posted in Home & Family, Inspiration | 8 Comments