We all envision things in our life going according to at least some sort of plan. And the best times in our lives seem to be when those plans are fulfilled.
My buddy went to his rest yesterday afternoon. And while this could hardly be viewed as a joyous event, it was at least a happy and peaceful resolution to his long struggle.
Pop died here at home yesterday, June 8th, 2008. It was somewhere around 3 PM. The two daughters who have been involved with him since the whole thing began were able to be here with him, as was I.
After returning home here Friday evening, I spent the last two nights in his room with him. Sleep was scarce during those hours as his condition seemed to deteriorate rapidly. Sunday afternoon he asked to use the bathroom. I realized just how much he'd declined as lifting him showed me just how much weight he'd lost. After he was done, I sat him on the bed and gave him a cold drink. As he drank that, I turned on the television and the Yankees' broadcast was on. Yankee ballgames were among the last of his life's pleasures that he still enjoyed. He looked for a minute and then asked to lie down. As I got him situated in the bed, he asked me to remove some pillows so that he could lie flat. I did, and he said that he was comfortable. I asked him if there was any pain, and remarkably, he said no.
Then something went wrong. I saw a marked change in his condition. I don't know what caused me to realize it, but I'm grateful. I was able to get his two daughters to the room in time. I told them that if they wanted to be there for the end, it might be time to come into the room. And there was no time to spare. As the three of us joined Pop at his bedside, he closed his eyes and took his last breath. It was very peaceful, and he did not appear to suffer at all.
So that was it. A very quiet ending to Pop's time here. We were concerned that the Hospice care people would come today and recommend he be cared for in an actual facility, which really wasn't what anyone wanted, but would accept. I think fate took its place here and put an end to the need for that kind of decision. So be it, and for the best. Pop is at peace now, and I believe his whole family can accept that it was time for the pain to end.
I don't think I could have asked for a better ending to the story.
Thank you all, so very much, for the kind words of support, friendship, caring and love. We're in a quiet holding pattern, as we have to make arrangements for his wake and funeral in another state. The kids are all here (Pop's grandchildren - my nieces) so we're all just taking time to relax and prepare.
As is the case with them, I wouldn't have wanted to do this without all of you. Thanks again, and see you soon.