I am so grateful to those that helped before my flight and after to get me to where I needed to be. Thank you for all the little notes and messages expressing your love and concerns. It is just a small boost that gets me a little farther. Thanks to my dear friends in Texas helping (and feeding) my family back home. I am so blessed.
I was prepared for the worst when I got to the hospital. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Yes, my dad looked tired, thinner and older but I could still see my dad. I knew he was there. I also knew he waited for me. Within hours of them saying they had done everything, it looked as though he was going. (They had even disconnected his pacemaker / defibrillator to let him go in peace.) As I boarded the plane in Austin, I got a text saying he was going fast and I probably wouldn't make it. As I landed, I got news that his blood pressure had doubled (70's over 40's) and that his pulse and oxygen were strong. That is my dad!
I didn't want a picture of him in the hospital. He wasn't a fan of pictures (like me) as it is so I know he wouldn't want me to remember him that way. This picture is the PERFECT way I want to remember this. Throughout the night, we took turns holding his hand. This was my favorite spot. I slept next to him in two small chairs (if you call 2 hours sleep) and would hold his hand several times throughout the night. I got to say my thank yous, my I love yous, laugh, cry, and my "see you later". I was able to just hold his hand. That was enough. My brother gave a wonderful blessing to comfort and assure him that it was okay to leave us and that he was loved and had more work to do on the other side. I've never had to go through anything so hard in my life, yet I wouldn't give this up for ANYTHING. I know my dad hung around to have one last family chat, laugh, cry, and get together. We told our secrets (our trips to Virginia City, MT, the one finger wave Mikey & dad exchanged behind my mom's back) our fondest memories and funny and sad moments. Jacob kept me going through texts and facebook posts and pictures of him and the kids. My dad passed on with us holding his hands, and feeling our love.
My dad would call me on Thursday afternoons / evenings. My mom would work at the temple and it would be our time to talk. We caught up on the little things and I always looked forward to it. We had a little game that when either he would call or if I called him, the first one to say "Gotcha" got a point. The score as of last Thursday, January 5th, was even. Whenever I wasn't able to answer my phone when he called, he would leave a message. It was short and sweet and always a "Gotcha". I had the feeling to save these on my voice mail from the past four months. So dad, you did get the last one for awhile and you earned it. I'll find you later on to get back ahead. XOXO (Click on the play button below to hear my favorite message.)