30 August 2007

My mother called again last night...

My father is dying right before her eyes, a little bit each day.

Yesterday he only had about a tablespoon of water - no food, no other liquids. He seemed to not know my sister.

I called my oldest daughter in Las Vegas and told her she needed to get to Indiana if she wanted to see him while there was any possibility that he would know her or her daughter.

We spent all day today trying to get airline tickets we could afford for her, my granddaughter, and my second daughter. We thought at first the hospice foundation that is associated with the hospice company that is taking care of my dad might be able to help. The people that come to the house to care for him and counsel my family said that there should be funding available.

However, with the increase in airline prices (partially due to the holiday weekend) and the less-than-stellar donation levels this year, we were told that they could only help us with one ticket. One ticket would not do, not at all.

So we kept hunting. Finally my daughter found tickets with US Airways, a red-eye flight that shortens their visit by a day, but is going to cost us considerably less than the $2000.00 we first thought we were going to have to spend. We bought the tickets directly from the airline, which usually costs more, but this time it did not.

So they will be flying out next Tuesday. I hope he is still alive by then. I hope he at least recognizes them at some point while they are there. I hope he does not die while they are there. I do not pray much, but I am praying hard for just those things, nothing more right now, nothing more.

We thought we would have more time with him. All the doctors said months, not weeks, not days, when he was diagnosed earlier this month with metastatic lung cancer. I think he is surprising everyone with his rapid decline.

Perhaps it is not a decline, or at least not a decline in his world. Since when is it a decline to be at rest, at peace, unafraid and calm. I think that is closer to an uplifting than a decline.

I would surely like to think about it in that way...

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