Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last few hours of 2016.... Roll on 2017

The year is a few hours from being over and I still cant make up my mind about what my "word" (focus) for 2017 should be.  This year I focused on having hope in all circumstances. I don't think I always succeeded but it was a good year on the whole. Losing daddy was the lowest point of my year and I know we still have quite a road ahead of us as far as that goes. The rest was really pretty awesome.... I know I worked and stressed way too much with times.. Perhaps I will manage things better in 2017.

Highlights of 2016
- Getting to know my brother's quirky wonderful girlfriend and welcoming her to the family.
- Two of my friends fell pregnant after a bit of a struggle.... Super excited for all the babies next year.
- Friday morning coffee club was a definite highlight. Spending time with like minded moms are always fantastic.
- Both kids joined the Voortrekkers this year. I loved it as much as what they did.
- Mr W played Bulletjierugby once again and he totally rocked. It makes all those late nights and early morning worth it when you see how much your child enjoys an activity.
- Being a bridesmaid again and celebrating my friends wedding with them. Very few people share a love like theirs. O yes and I baked a killer chocolate wedding cake :)
- Miss M totally rocked at chess this year. She had to work really hard after missing the SA champs in December 2015. We met and employed an amazing new coach for her. Coach S is fantastic and I cant stop singing her praises to everyone. Miss M won all her games at the SA team event December 2016, playing for the under 10 girls A team. She received her first board prize ever. Super proud mom!
- Looking back I am so grateful for all the time we spent with Daddy this year :)
- Both kids did really well at school and it gives me hope for next year... Gr 1 and 4 in one year does just sound like its going to be terribly hectic.
- I read so many good books this year. My favourite by far was the Rose Gardner series by Denise Grover Swank.

Cheers 2016... Thank you for the memories and the lessons learnt. I am waving goodbye as I waltz lightly towards 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My daddy died...

Its so hard to type those words. The memory of my daddy's last breath still so clear in my head. I cant believe its been 3 weeks exactly today. It feels like just yesterday that we last spoke. I walked into my parents house this morning expecting my dad to sit in his chair, cup of coffee in his hand only to realise that his usual chair is empty.

I feel like I have to write about what happened because I dont want to forget any of the details. Almost like my kids birth stories... Perhaps I am being strange and I will delete this post somewhere down the line but for now I need to write about it.

28 Nov 2016 - my dad is admitted to hospital with heart failure. He was first diagosed in 2009 so we know what's coming. A lasix drip and a bed in the ICU.

29 Nov 2016 - Daddy's last birthday here on earth.

1 Dec 2016 - The Dr amputates Daddy's toes due to bad circulation and in infection.

Saturday, 3 Dec 2016 - I am at a chess tournament with Mik. My mom calls to say the Surgeon wants to operate at 10 to close the amputation but they are extremely worried because Daddy condition has deteriorated. I arrive at the hospital to find Daddy in a good mood. Chatty and happy... Perhaps a bit high on pain meds?

Sunday, 4 Dec 2016 - Daddy is sleeping when we arrive. His nurse looks pale and nervous. Later she tells us he stopped breathing... An "episode" she called it ... They dont know what happened and wanted to intubate him but before they could he came to and started breathing on his own again. They leave the ventilator next to his bed, unplugged, all day.

Monday, 5 Dec 2016 - I receive the worst call from my mom. The dr wants all of us to come to the hospital immediately. On arrival the Dr had already spoken to my mum. There is no hope. All Daddy's organs are failing. We have to decide if we want to use "extreme measures" in other words a ventilator, dialysis... Mum says no. Its only a matter of time... A few days, perhaps a week. The ICU nurses tell us to spend as much time as possible with Daddy. Visiting hours don't apply to us anymore. Mom tells all of us to not be negative around my dad so we chat and even laugh with him like nothing is wrong. Daddy makes jokes about the nurses and pulls faces behind the one nurses's back when she moans at him for making the alarms on the monitors go off.

Tuesday, 6 Dec 2016 - We arrive at the hospital a few minutes after mum and miss the Dr's update. Daddy's condition has worsened. It will be today. He has set the drips to lower the dosage of meds every hour. Daddy is awake and full of beans. He makes us laugh and kisses mum every time she comes near. I think he knew what was happening. Not once did he close his eyes or fall asleep. My brother's girlfriend asks him if she should get him and mum a room and he laughs and says.. Yes please :) At 1pm the nurse gives him a pain injection. We walk out of the ICU just as Daddy falls asleep only to be called back almost immediately because his blood pressure is extremely low. We sit with him for an hour... Watching his breathing becoming slower and shallower until it just... stops... 2:08 on Tuesday, December 6th. 72 years old... A good innings as my dad always use to say. In his mind anything over 70 was a life well lived. My heart is shattered. My dad is gone.

I miss my Daddy every day. I want to pick up the phone to call because I want to hear his voice.. I want to hear his opinion about the latest news events. I want to make him another cup of coffee and ask him about the Protea's last game. I know its even harder for my mom. They loved each other deeply for 47 years. Two halves of a whole. How do we go on from here? Our ship has lost its captain...