It was the day after Thanksgiving and I was glued to my chair as I anxiously tried to finish a memoir of my father’s life. This particular writing project was a requirement for a class I was completing to receive a Master’s degree.
My dad had fallen earlier that week while standing at the nurse’s station at the senior community he resided in. His fall put him in the hospital where he underwent hip replacement surgery.
My dad was a remarkable man, hardworking and dedicated to supporting his family. The day he went in for surgery, he was also a Parkinson’s disease patient. He had spent 18 years fighting for a sense of normalcy in his life.
In the last year of his life, my mom could no longer be his sole provider. On the day he fell in the rush to the hospital, his necessary medication that kept him functioning had somehow gone AWOL.
Parkinson’s patients typically take a medication to assist the main pituitary gland in the brain to send the necessary messages to all the vital organs which keep you breathing, continue the beating of your heart, chewing your food, and swallowing.
As the hours passed following a successful hip replacement surgery, my father was slowly failing. My brother Randy stopped by to visit dad and to see how he was doing. When he arrived it was close to noon and dad was sitting in an upright position staring blankly into space. His breakfast was still on the mobile tabletop, uneaten. Dad could no longer speak but motioned to my brother, trying to communicate how thirsty he was. My brother saw how parched his lips were and attempted to give dad a drink of water.
It wasn’t until 48 hours later my dad went into a coma. No one at the hospital, including the doctor, was aware he was missing an essential drug to keep him alive.
I was home, on my computer, banging out my thoughts about dad when the doorbell rang. It was Randy. Somehow I knew when I looked into his eyes that he had bad news for me. I ushered Randy into the den where I told him I was almost done with dad’s memoir and to please let me finish.
In the next few minutes that felt like an eternity, my heart pounded with the fear of what I already knew. I stopped and finished the final words of dad’s memoir and turned to my brother. He looked at me and delivered the news that I was dreading. Daddy was gone.
Since my father’s death, I have been a voracious writer. He was my champion who believed I could walk on water if that’s what I wanted to do. Losing someone you love so deeply, hurts. The hurt never really goes away, but I’ve found it’s possible to do positive works that honor your loved one.
When someone is no longer present physically in your life, you can keep them close to your heart by making the effort to conduct your own life in an optimistic manner.
As a writer, I know my dad’s always with me. He smiles over my shoulder through the good and the bad of my writing. He reminds me to always do my best and never say the words, “I can’t!” He always encouraged me to find ways to give back to others.
The power of someone believing in you’s incredible! Take that upbeat energy and live life fully. Write with a purpose to help others. Relish in knowing your good work means volumes for others!
Here’s my invitation for you. Take a moment and breathe in the goodness of someone you loved who’s no longer physically present in your life. Remember the positive times you shared and watch that feeling ignite your writing!