Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Little Self-Diagnosis......

I have a disorder. Nothing life threatening or serious - but a disorder non the less.

I call it 'detatchment disorder'. I don't know if it is a real something or just something I've made up.

Since I was little, we moved a lot {Due to numerous evictions}, people, family and friends came and went. My mother left when I was 10. No one ever really stuck around through the good and the bad. Everyone I loved has always left {Ok, not everyone - but the ones that were most important} My family floated in and out of jail and some floated in and out of consciousness with the help of illegal substances. It's always been me - the strong one. The clam one. The 'grown up'.

And when they leave...I shut down the part of my heart that they used to fill.

Maybe its a defense mechanism - maybe it's a good safety measure. But, whatever it is, it sucks.

I'm cautious around women and once you burn me - it's hard for me to trust again. I am praying over it and working hard to break down the walls that I build.

I have been doing this in response to my dad's passing. I went into survival mode: jam pack my schedule, run from one topic to the next, study like it's my job for school. But now, it's summer break and my days are filled with fun and leisure. {haha, leisure!}

It all hit on Mother's Day. I had to work which didn't bother me too much. Another nice distraction - plus, I really like my job. We were slow and I checked Facebook - everyone had posted so many nice things about their mothers....'Like' if you love your mom.....Share if your mom is the best. I evetually just stopped looking. The only nice thing about my mom is that she created me. And she gave me a great example of which path NOT to go down....

Anyhoo - I usually call my dad on Mother's Day. A bit unorthodox, but it's just the way I've always done. HE was there for me. HE talked to me about makeup, periods, and boys. HE was the one who shopped with me and tucked me in. HE was the best. I don't even have him to call now. I called his number and listened to his voicemail about 5 times. I have a beautiful family and enjoyed them celebrating me, but I secretly wanted the day to just be over.

The tears fell as I laid in bed and thought of my dad - and God heard my cries and gave me the most beautiful dream that night.

My dad, tan with freckles peeking out. Silver hair combed back. His blue eyes lit up in a great big smile. He was laughing. He hugged me and gave me a necklace with a key on it. He laughed and shrugged as if to say "it's all good, booga" {A nickname I've had since birth - and one I've never excaped}. I could not hear what he said and I can not for the life of me recall why we were laughing or what the key was for. But it was him. Warm, funny, and happy him.

That dream makes me laugh and it makes me cry. It spoke volumes although I didn't hear a word.

So, I must keep working through it. I can't let my 'diagnosis' of detachment disorder keep me from sorting through it. I need to be healthy and you know I won't just lie down and let this over take me.

I got a text today that rocked my world.

I have been hounding his wife, Beth, in a nice and respectful way, to get a date on the calender to go through his things. To take some of his ashes. To allow myself to see and touch his things and really feel it all. She finally gave me an answer:

She says she has nothing I want and that HER kids will spread their ashes together when she passes.

I couldn't breathe. I still cant figure it out. How...why...who would do such an ugly thing. I'm still trying to process it all. I have nothing of him - and will get nothing.

Abba, heavenly father, help me to be kind. To be and act like the woman you want me to be. Wipe these tears and give me discernment.

It's days like thses that I wish I was more 'hood :). That I didn't have to be responsible and nice and cautious. Because believe you me, I would be on the next flight, showing up at her doorstep and ASKING for trouble..........

I can't do much. But I can ask for your prayers. And maybe some advice if you've been through something like it. I'm just sitting, replaying it all, and letting tears fall.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Marvel....

I pulled in the driveway at 8:22p.m. I am home from class - I had an exam followed by an hour of lecture. I see the blinking light on my phone signaling a new message. It's Mike, wondering will I pick up Dairy Queen for him. I back up and head down the road to fulfill his craving. I come in, tired and hungry.

I hand him his frozen treat, and plant a kiss on his lips.

I marvel at God's grace in giving me my better half - exactly who I need and want.

I make my way down the hall. Park's light is on and he's still half-awake. I kneel next to his bed and rub his head. "I can't get comfy, mom." I re-arrange his pillows and tuck him in tight. I rub his back and he tells me I always tuck him in best.

I check Hunter next - out cold and looking so much like his daddy. I kiss him and whisper how much I love him.

Rae is nestled into her Moose pillow pet (a gift from her daddy, and her FAVORITE lovie) with Nuk in place. She stirs and cries. I pick her up and see what has awoken her - she rolled over onto some plastic food from her play kitchen that her brothers lovingly fetched for her after nap. I cuddle her close. I sing "The Way You Look Tonight". The song my dad and I danced to at my wedding. Her blue eyes get heavy as she mumbles along from behind her paci. She's out again and I gingerly lay her down and sneak out.

I plop on the couch to eat the dinner I made before leaving for class. The kids love pork chops and home made mashed 'taters. And Mike has made me a plate - warm and ready.

I sit and eat. I marvel at it. This life. The crazy and the mundane.

Between bites Mike and I laugh and talk while we flip back and forth from Pawn Stars and Mike and Molly.

I bought a Mini blizzard -  Peanut-butter and chocolate covered pretzels. Yes, it IS just as good as it sounds!

I marvel at God's provision. That even though for the last month I have run from Him, avoided any thing and any one who may bring up how I am coping. He did not move - I did. He loved me and He waited on me.

I raised my hands in church in singing and praise. He is an awesome God - a Mighty Fortress. He works ALL things together for my good and His glory.

I marvel.......

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Still Sorting Through It.....

I tossed and turned all night on Sunday. I had clinicals at Lake County Jail and had to be there by 7am. I am always afraid that I'll over sleep and was nervous about going, so I woke almost every hour to check the time on my phone.

At 3:58a I rolled over, grabbed my phone just in time to see a message from Beth, my dad's wife, pop up saying 'Call me.'

I hopped out of bed and went to the family room so I wouldn't wake Mike. I called. No answer. I texted. No response. I sat for about 15 minutes and then went back to lay in bed. I cradled the phone under my ear to be sure I heard it if she called. At 4:12, she called. I asked what was wrong and she asked to talk to Mike. I woke him and handed him the phone. He sat up and didn't say much. He hung up and took a deep breath. It seemed like hours until he finally said "Your dad is in a coma. He is unresponsive and they're not sure what's wrong. They're moving him to ICU. Beth is on her way there now." I pelted him with 100 questions - all of which he had no answers to. Mike held me and I cried. I knew from the click of that first text that my dad was gone. I kept telling myself that he's stubborn and will wake up and laugh at how worried we all are....but he never would.

I went back to the family room. I could'nt sleep and I needed more answers - and coffee. I called the hospital's {in Stockbridge, GA where he was} Cardiac ICU. The secretary was nice, but could give me no info. She must've heard the panic in my voice as I tried to hold it together. She said the team was still in his room and the doctor would speak with family as soon as they arrived.

I sat. And stared. I couldn't think, couldn't pray, couldn't even sip my hot coffee. I called my brother to let him know. He was steady and comforting. At about 4:45 my phone rang and it was Beth on the other end. She was paniced, out of breath, and crying. She said she was on her way out the door and a nurse just called and asked that she hurry - my dad had gotten 'more critical'.

The rest of the morning is a blurr. I texted my sister and she called back and sobbed when she heard the news. I had to keep my composure to get the kids ready for school and fed. I called my professor and she said I should be home and not to worry about clinicals. My friend took Park to school and our sitter came to be with Rae and Hunter.

Beth texted me around 8 and said we had some decisions to make. She wouldn't text back or answer my calls. I was upset and called Mike. He said he was on his way home. I knew he had talked to Beth. He knew something and I knew nothing. He came in and said dad had to have surgery. He had a bleed on his brain. They had to open up his chest to get his heart regulated and to stop the bleed. He had no chance of survival without the procedure and very slim chance of making it through the surgery....

I cried. I was numb. I was mad. Mike got the kids situated and we headed to the church. We sat in the empty santuary and cried, talked, and were comforted by our Pastor. The entire staff prayed over us. We left and I updated the family via text.

We went to Bob Evans and had breakfast. We went to pick up drawings for a job mike is doing and then to Uptown Cafe to meet our youth ministry leader. When I walked in the door. My phone rang. It was Beth. The neurologist had come in to check dad. His pupils were dilated and fixed and dad had no reflexes. A sure sign that his brain had died. I cried and stared. My dad was gone. We were asked to come as soon as possible.

We got into Atlanta at 12:30 p.m. Monday night. I walked into dad's room. He looked peaceful. An NG tube in his nose. Mutiple IV lines and an arterial line in either arm. A catheter in place. Leads on his chest. An endotracheal tube placed in his mouth to breathe for him. He was on medications; lots of meds. To control his heart rate, keep his kidneys working, something for regulating blood pressure.... {All my nursing school knowledge flew out the window when I stepped in his room}My dad - always strong and bold and loud. That day was quiet and unresponsive. I had cried all day and most of the drive down - so I held it together when I saw him. I held his hand and talked with him. I kissed his head and told him we'd be back the next morning.

We got a hotel room and slept from 3:30a to 6:30a and went back to his bedside.

The next week is still like a fuzzy, bad dream. I sat with my dad on his bed, holding his hand. I really felt like he would hear me and wake up. Even just blink or squeeze my hand back. I told him he had to wake up - he could not leave with out saying goodbye. It wasn't fair. I didn't eat and filled up only on coffee.

People were in and out of the room. So many people who saw me asked "You're Fred's baby girl aren't you? He adored you and talked about you all the time" {I know I was his favorite ;)} I met some of dad and Beth's friends, but I can't remember their names or even what they looked like- I didn't want them there. I wanted to scream that they needed to stop planning dinner and what errands they needed to run and leave. Some of them giggled and joked around - I was furious. I sat with my back to them, staring at my dad. This was my last time with him. I hated them for being ok. I was watching the only constant in my life slip away. His hand must've bruised from how tightly I squeezed and rubbed it for three days straight.

There is so very much more to this story - but I don't want to remember those details. Things got hard and kinda bad between us and his wife. She would not accept that he was gone and let his body rest until the doctor stepped in and told her that under Georgia state law, once a person is proclaimed brain dead they must be taken off life support. It was a long, ugly day. But I knew my dad wouldn't want a fight. So I stayed with him. I prayed, and we 'talked'.

We got home on Thursday late afternoon. My dad passed away at 1 a.m. on Friday March 8. I was not there. I am still trying to be okay with all that happened. With not being outside that OR when he finally went home. I loathe his wife for going home. For falling so deeply into sleep and not keeping me updated. That I sat by the phone and wondered if he was still fighting....Did they take him off the vent and he breathed on his own? Was he in pain? Aware of what was happening?? My mind went crazy.....I got a text from Beth the next morning. An 'oops! I fell asleep and forgot to call' {Father, help me to accept the things I can not change - and to be KIND!!} We all grieve differently and I know it's not up to me to tell others how or what they should do in a time like this.

He was a full organ donor. His beautiful blue eyes gave the gift of sight to someone. His kidneys are giving life to two people. And his liver and spleen were donated as well.

My God is soverign. His timing is immaculate and perfect. His will is good and His heart only loves. It is not to me to question Him.

But I am left with a hurting heart. I am a 29 year old orphan - my mom is not stable or healthy nor any part of my life, and my beloved pop is in heaven. I haven't had the chance to fall apart - I had to keep it together to plan his memorial, to get family in town, to arrange hotles, make decisions, and continue on with school, kids, chores, life.

I have been assured there will be a time to sort through all the 'yuck' that's left. Emotions, questions, hurt, anger, and sadness. I am resting in the fact that my dad is so very much enjoying fishing, dancing, feasting, and laughing with his Heavenly Father.

 I just miss him. I have called his phone more times than I care to admit just to hear his voice on his outgoing message. He is a beautiful soul and I know he's exactly where he's meant to be.....