Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Regrets...

by Marcia Hodge

When my father was diagnosed with cancer, he moved in with my
youngest brother.
Knowing my father didn't have much time left, my brother invited
me and our other siblings to stay with him. This allowed each of us
to spend as much time as possible with my father, as well as lean on
each other for support.
We learned so much during those few weeks and our love for him
grew with each passing day. For the first week he was there, we
would stay up until the early morning hours telling stories, singing,
listening to his words of wisdom, and most importantly, just enjoying
being with each other.
Shortly before his death, my father asked to speak to each of us
individually. We each waited our turn, knowing this would probably
be the last time he would be aware of our presence -- his organs had
begun to fail and his strength was fading quickly.
Finally, my turn came. When I entered the room, I could see
that his eyes were closed. I thought he might have drifted back to
sleep. I stood there for a moment watching him -- the face of an
I eased to the side of his bed and sat down. Without opening
his eyes, my father reached for my hand and smiled. As I sat there
watching this man quickly pass from us, I thought of all the things I
wanted to say. I wanted to tell him all of the things I was going to
miss -- the smell of his aftershave, the sound of his voice on the
other end of the phone, books to compare with the person with whom I
shared a love of reading, his unwavering faith in me, his Christian
example, and maybe most of all his smile -- the smile of an angel.
There were other things I wanted to say as well, such as "if only."
Instead, we sat in silence, holding hands, thankful for the closeness
we'd always shared.
After awhile I leaned over to kiss him goodnight. As I did, a
tear fell and landed on his cheek. Never opening his eyes, he smiled
and whispered, "No regrets."
With those two words, I knew there was nothing left unsaid. The
love we shared was far greater than any words. It was as if he could
see deep into my heart and know what I felt at that exact moment. He
didn't want me to worry about anything I could not change.
Instead, he wanted me to be happy with the memories I could
forever keep in my heart and not dwell on any of the "if only's." He
not only wanted me to be content with the relationship I had shared
with him, he wanted me to be content with the relationship I shared
with my family, friends and most importantly, my relationship with
Of all things my father taught me over the years, the lesson I
learned that night was the greatest -- to try to live a life with "No

-- Marcia Hodge

Marcia is married with two children. She currently works full-time
as an Oncology Data Specialist and continues her passion and
enthusiasm for writing. She is currently working on a novel, as well
as collaborating on a screenplay.

It has been a crazy week and ups and downs and tears to having a phone call that they are going to send my dad home yesterday...I was like what???? He is suppose to go to rehab? I called and left messages at the nurses stations and finally around 12 I got the first phone call to tell me he is not strong enough to go to Rehab and they will have to find other arrangements..I told them my mom has been having heart problems and has not even had the energy to get to the hospital for a few days so he cannot go home..I have my plate so full that I can't be there to take care of him and Lindsay is leaving to be a camp counselor on Sunday for a week for our church..that is a huge God Watch that she is doing this well! I am so happy for her and she really wanted to go and she got chosen to be the counselor and then she has a bunch of helpers from church assisting here...

So the next thing to do was find out what their health care covered for Nursing Home Care...Now I have learned about Nursing Home Care and the phone started ringing..I learned do not take the first call as they would have put him in Joliet and then we would have had to drive so far..I was helped by Sherry Lindstrom who happened to call right in between the Social Worker and a Nursing Home and I got out of that one and able to get him just a few blocks from our home...He was moved at 7 pm but by 12:30 at night I woke up and thought should I call and make sure he is cell phone rang and it was my dad..he was getting upset as he started having bladder problems and I told him how to push the red button and we started a long night of phone calls..They didn't have the right medicines on his chart and I was awoken by my mom and she had no idea I was up all night with dad and now he is being taken by ambulance back to the hospital as he cannot dad was getting upset and I told him now you know what I go through each time Kerry is there and he goes 8 hours with out pych or pain is horrible..he said I don't know how you have done they even know I am here? I laughed and told them now you are talking like Kerry...So pray today we can get him back to the nursing home and the doctors get all the right orders sent and my dad back on track..we should find out about his cancer tomorrow the results will be in.. Then my moms heart test on Wed., Thursday, and Friday...

Now my mom is really having a hard time and short of has just been so much on all of us...I crashed finally on Monday and slept almost 17 hours...I am in therapy for my hips and then I go and my back starts hurting and I think why all at one time..Friday Dr. Lubenow injected my neck with a steroid injection but my hands are still going pray that I figure out what to do with my many decisions and just too much happening at a time..hugs, cheryl

My dad got released and my mom was bringing him back to the nursing home and they stopped to show him the new kitchen as they had a fire a few weeks ago and the remodeling has been going on while he has been in the hospital so they stopped at home...Mom gave him a shower, Mallory came and cut his hair, fed him lunch and then decided they couldn't bring him back to the nursing pray we can keep him at my parents home...

No comments: