Monday, October 30, 2017

Where to Begin...

It's been far too long since I logged on here, and I've been avoiding it.  I decided today, to rip it off like a Band-Aid so I can get back into the swing of regular blogging, as my heart feels up to it.

Many of you regular readers will already know this from Instagram, but my daddy passed away in mid-October.  It was sudden, even though he had early onset Alzheimer's.  He was fine (well as fine as you can be at age 66, living in a memory care home).. and then one Thursday morning, we got a call that he wasn't, and they didn't know why.  We went to the E.R. with him that day, thinking that he might have suffered a stroke, which was preventing his mobility, out of the blue. (He had walked and walked, day and night, for those eight solid months of living away from my mom.  He didn't like to lay down or rest ever.)  After a day of many hospital tests, they discharged him and told us to begin thinking about hospice.  They said he wouldn't make it 90 days. We cried and stood there in shock, watching him sleep... we didn't actually believe them.  He had just suddenly quit really eating, and drinking and walking earlier that week.  My heart thinks that he was simply done.  He slept most of those following six short days, but he woke one morning, while I was leaning over him, rubbing his shoulder... he looked up at me in the sleepy haze he seemed to be in and mumbled, "Hi baby-sweet."  (He called all of his girls in the family that as a regular endearment.)  It was my daddy-daughter moment and I knew someplace in my heart, that I wouldn't get another, as he drifted back into sleep.  I soaked it up like the treasure it was and even now thinking of it, I feel so treasured by him in this life.  So much love, even in those final days.  He loved me well and it was an absolute privilege being his princess in this life.

We were so deeply blessed and loved on by friends. We were at the home my dad lived in, day and night, round the clock for his final days.  My mama never left his side once and extended family came and went, but my brother, mom and I were almost there non-stop, together. I kind of neglected my kids but I have nine girlfriends that surrounded our entire family in every conceivable way during those days.  Two took it up on themselves to bring the kids treats, one even prayed with them. They brought coffees to the hospice room for us in the middle of those long days, as well as bags of food, waters, magazines, and items for my dad's comfort.  Many of them brought meals, big, delicious things for many extra family members, breakfast, and some brought multiple meals.  I didn't have to think about any of it.  My concern was for my mom as she cared for daddy and my support circle filled in every single gap for me.  I'd come home and they would be in my kitchen leaving me notes and flowers.  They all had the garage code and would come and go as needed, stocking my fridge and leaving love. I've never been so overwhelmed by tangible love in my life.

We had the unshakable peace that comes from knowing.  We knew how Daddy felt about all of us.  He never hesitated to tell us how he loved us, how proud he was of us, or anything else in this life.  We knew how he felt about my mom too because he told her all the time, and he told us too.  She was his soul mate and they showed us how two imperfect people should do marriage.  They did it so beautifully.  We knew Daddy was at peace with eternity and we knew he was going to be with Jesus, no question.  It sounds crazy but we had heartbreak, joy for him, and even a bit of jealousy that he was getting to leave and be with his Creator, all in one.  We felt the obvious guilty-relief of his suffering from this crappy disease being over as well.  People began seeking out the room we were gathering in and shyly telling us that we were encouraging them, and that they wished they could be a part of our family. We invited them all in and it was almost, at times... a party.  Peace gives such a gift. We used those six days to move through shock and confusion to acceptance.  Those days were a gift and we got to be together as a family in our grief.   I miss him so much.  The holidays will be empty without his big personality but he won't be far from our minds or hearts and we will find ways to honor and remember him...  I'm so thankful for my life as his kid.  I'm so thankful for so many parts of how this transpired, and how God pushed every detail that we needed, into place.  We look backward and can see His fingerprints all over the entire story, even though we can also see massive question marks too.

 I made a massive and beautiful fall flower arrangement for his memorial service and thought you might enjoy seeing it in this post.  He wouldn't have cared about the flowers necessarily, but he would have really loved to see me using my creativity.  He was always my biggest fan when it came to art, good ideas and creativity.  I loved knowing what words he would have probably said to me, if he had been standing beside me as I created it, and it makes me want to be really intentional about telling people in this life, how good they are, and how I feel about them, so that my words become a mental recording in their heads.

It's good to know, and be known.
XOXO,
Sasha

15 comments:

  1. It's good to know. . .and be known. I think that will stick with me. How precious your relationship with your daddy was. Thank you for sharing the beauty and the hope that came with your loss.

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  2. I have followed your blog for a long time. I always find encouragement and things worth pondering. And yet in the midst of admiring your spirit and how you encouraged others in the middle of your loss, one phrase oddly stuck out - that your friends all had your garage code and we coming in at all times to leave lovely offerings and my first thought was "oh dear, I could never have people coming through my garage and just showing up at my house, it is never straight and the garage is a disaster". How silly that seems and yet it tells me I need to get my house in order because we never know, right?
    I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you have good memories and the certainty that you will see you dad again in Heaven. xo

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  3. I have followed your blog for a long time. I always find encouragement and things worth pondering. And yet in the midst of admiring your spirit and how you encouraged others in the middle of your loss, one phrase oddly stuck out - that your friends all had your garage code and we coming in at all times to leave lovely offerings and my first thought was "oh dear, I could never have people coming through my garage and just showing up at my house, it is never straight and the garage is a disaster". How silly that seems and yet it tells me I need to get my house in order because we never know, right?
    I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you have good memories and the certainty that you will see you dad again in Heaven. xo

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  4. Good job, Sasha. Been there, done that with my (Alzheimer's) dad. A good dad like that lives on in your heart forever.

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  5. Oh, so young. I'm sure you felt as though you didn't have enough time with him. My momma was just 4 days shy of her 90th birthday, and that's how I felt. It's a horrendous malady and so hard to witness. Grateful that your family loved each other through it. Some are not as blessed. Take comfort knowing he is with you always, until you meet again. Blessings...

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  6. Thank you for sharing Sasha, this is a beautiful tribute to your dad.

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  7. So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

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  8. One of my favorite quotes on grief is so true for you, Sasha:
    "If no person's life were significant enough to cause weeping and if the measure of our years on earth were nothing, then we would not be real human beings. Profound grief is preceded by deep love which gives life meaning." ~Roberta Beckman

    Your love for your dad, and his for you was deep. And it gave life meaning. But for now, that means profound grief at being separated from him. But oh, there will be a day of reunion and what a day of rejoicing that will be! I lost my mom a year ago this month. And I can honestly say, as hard as it's been, it's been a year of wonderful remembrance, deep gratitude that I was blessed with such a mom, and even sweet relief that she is no longer suffering.

    Keeping you in my prayers as you grieve this temporary separation from your dad. It sounds like he was one of the best.

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  9. Oh Sasha,

    I am so terribly sorry to read about the passing of your dad. You have always spoken so highly of your parents. May God rest his soul. My prayers and love to you and your family.

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  10. This story of his homegoing is so beautiful and I am so grateful that you had those days together to grieve and to prepare. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life with us.

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  11. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. This, however, was the most beautiful tribute I have read in some time. Prayers for you and your family.

    ~ justplainbeth

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  12. I understand all those emotions you are feeling about losing your Dad. I'm so sorry such a wonderful Dad has left you too soon, but I'm thankful you know you'll see him again in Glory. Prayers for you and your sweet family.

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  13. I understand all those emotions you are feeling about losing your Dad. I'm so sorry such a wonderful Dad has left you too soon, but I'm thankful you know you'll see him again in Glory. Prayers for you and your sweet family.

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  14. Hello,

    sweet post about your dad...the suddenlies kind of take your breath away, right???

    On another note, where do we find that sweet little black board that you have your quote on???

    :) Becky

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