06 Nov Patient Experience Day 42: The Calm
Today I received a call around 8:55am from my mother. I was driving on my way to work. I had just finished saying my morning Rosary for my father. I could feel my heart begin to race. I answer the phone.
My mother says, “How are you?”
I answer, “Fine. How’s dad?”
My mother responds, “After you left last night dad stopped being restless. He slept the entire night. He was calm. He’s been calm all morning long. He takes his medicine and just sleeps.”
I hesitate and my mother tells me to just ask, so I do, “Do you think the time is close?”
My mother responds back to me, “Yes. I do not think it will be too much longer. Maybe a day or two at most.”
I say okay. I proceed to let her know that I am almost to work. I tell her that I have a 10am meeting followed by a few other meetings at another site. I let her know that if anything should happen or change, to just call me, and I will answer her call. My mother tells me that she will.
I ask her if there is anything she needs me to stop and pick up on my way over this afternoon/evening and she tells me laundry detergent. I say, “Okay mom. I got it.”
I hang up the phone. As I do so, there is a slight break in the rain. The grey mist that wrapped the morning in a blanket of gloom begins to break away, and I see the following:
As well as this:
I immediately begin to pray the Devine Mercy. I am not sure what it all means, if anything, but for some reason it makes me think that perhaps this is the grace shining on my father. Shortly after I complete my prayers the rain begins again.
When I arrive this evening (Tuesday Nov. 5, 2013) my mother is in a red flannel shirt. It is old, covered in fuzz balls. It is an old flannel that my father used to wear. I remember being small and him wearing it one evening along with a sombrero and I laughing.
I ask how she is doing and how dad has been today. She tells me that the priest stopped by once again. She said it was a good visit. She also told me that other than when the nurses came to bathe and change the bed linens, or when she had to give my father his medication, that he has been very peaceful and calm all day. she says to me, “He has just being sleeping the day away.”
I go in and say hello to my father. He is in the bed. The head is slightly propped up, and he is leaning slightly onto his left side. His mouth is open. He is snoring. His color has changed once more. He has a slight bead of sweat on his forehead. I lean over the rail. I kiss him on the forehead. I tell him I love him. I pat his chest. I whisper to him that it is okay. He doesn’t have to worry. I tell him to let go. I kiss him once more on his forehead. I again tell him that I love him. I gently swipe my hand over his cheek, his white whiskers, down to his right shoulder.
I turn and walk out.
I finish the conversation and visit with my mother. I tell her that tomorrow I will be working remotely, so I will come and work from their home all day. This way she can have a break and get some fresh air. I again tell her that if anything happens, to call immediately.
I walk outside into the rain. The darkness encircles me. It is difficult to see out the back window as I pull out of the driveway. I turn onto the main road towards the highway and again it is difficult to see the cars as I approach the roundabouts.
I think to myself that I hope my father is able to see clearly now. I hope that he can visibly see his destination and that he has embarked on his next journey.
Begin to think what words my father would speak about his next chapter.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM