- that my dad is no longer in pain, that his suffering here on earth is over. He slept away peacefully Saturday morning.
- that I happened to spend the night, and happened to be at his bedside when he took his last breath.
- for his siblings who would call and check on him and us regularly during this last fifteen months.
- for my siblings. I said it many times in this last year - I can't imagine doing this alone/as an only child. THAT would have been tough.
- for my mother. Without her, I'm not sure how we kids could have done it. It was meant that the timing of her retirement fell in line with when we needed her most. I'm glad that she'll continue to stay through the holidays and be able to enjoy the family and attend some of the grandkids programs and events this week.
- for my husband. He ran this ship beautifully and without hesitation during my frequent absences.
- that my children were all in school this year, and they are the ages they are. That our bigs could take care of our littles. This was huge.
- for all the friends who checked on me throughout the year and reminded me that they were there for me and remembered/knew what I was going through. This meant more to me than you will ever know.
- for our wonderful neighbors. They made my life doable more than once.
- for hospice. What wonderful hearts and spirits.
- that I chose to have his pipe. I have it sitting here in the crook of the fold on my laptop and I've been lifting it to my nose and with that quick little whiff, I can flash back to a multitude of memories that span my 45 years. I can see his smile, hear his wit, appreciate his sarcasm and laugh at the eyebrow raise he gave his oncologist when it was suggested that he quit - because it isn't healthy.
- that I have so much of my dad in me.
- for my faith. It carries me hourly and brings me peace.
And from my facebook status yesterday, as it's easier to just cut and paste the bulk of it rather than trying to write the same thing over again:
Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers during this past long 15 months and today and yesterday as my dad, very peacefully, slept away Saturday morning.
I'm so grateful that I went there to spend the night, and so thankful that while he didn't wake up at all while I was there - I happened to be at his bedside when he took his last breath.
My dad never understood funerals, despite all the times I sat down with him and tried to explain that they are for the living and not for the dead - but for that reason,
we will not be having any funeral, service or memorial for him. Because that's him, and because that's him, that makes it okay. I am at peace with that, as is the rest of my family.
Several friends have called regarding having song services, and we are touched and appreciative. But our thoughts are right now that the holidays are
busy and we are all behind as we've spent so much time at my dad's these last months (and that's okay), and we'd have a hard time coming up with a
common time between us with kids programs and concerts, parties and dinners - and while grateful, we'd really just like to work our way through the holidays right now.
It's a busy time.
And that's okay.
And I'm quickly reminded that life goes on. I had to do a panic run to the grocery store for milk, bread and eggs - the needed trifecta - before the kids woke up for their Sunday School program yesterday morning.
And my Aunt Sarah (my dad's sister) called last evening to let me know that my great aunt Edna Ryynanen passed away almost exactly 24 hours after her nephew/my dad. She would have been 101 in February. I visited her many times over the years, and she offered me a lot of greatly appreciated information before my one year journey to Finland. She was a one of a kind. I won't be traveling north for her funeral, but remember her fondly.
As for today - life goes on. Our calendar this week is full and busy. That's reality.