Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's a sad day!

Today is a sad day.  My son-in-law was advised by his father's doctor to take his dad off life support.  

I still think of my son-in-law as the little boy I remember.  He met my daughter when they were in kindergarten.  He was my friend Debbie's son and I was so excited to see her that first day of school.  Debbie, Ron and I started to school together when we were six and we were classmates through graduation.  So it was exciting that our children would be going to school together.  I hadn't seen Debbie since the day I ran into her on Main street and noticed we were both pregnant.  I was due in December and she wasn't due until March but we were both in full bloom.

Life events separated our kids after their first year together as Debbie moved to a new school district.  The kids didn't reunite until high school.  They met again, became friends although it was apparent they both liked each other more than just as friends.  By the time they were in college it was apparent that this was a lasting relationship.

So, that is why I think of my son-in-law as my son.  He's been in my life almost as long as my own children.  Three years ago Debbie went to the doctor with a back ache and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  She died six weeks later on Thanksgiving day.  Today my son-in-law will say good-bye to his father.  My heart aches for him.

I was exactly the same age as Chris when my father was taken off life support.  My dad had survived colon surgery one week prior but had succumbed to a severe asthma attack two days later.  Fortunately he had prepared an Advance Directive before surgery so as a family we were spared the agonizing decision to stop treatment.  Chris is not so fortunate.  The decision is his to make and I can't imagine how difficult that will be.  

The thing I remember most about the day my father died was knowing in advance it was about to happen.  It was all so surreal.  I kept thinking, "In a few moments my father will die."  I wondered how the world was able to go about its' business when my world was falling apart.  Didn't the world know that the most wonderful man on the earth was about to take his last breath?  That I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to breathe again without him.  This wonderful man who had loved me unconditionally all my life would never call me "doodle bug" again or hug me so tight and make me feel so safe that nothing could ever possibly harm me.   But he took care of us to the very end by making sure we would never have to make that final decision.  

Soooo I urge people to get an Advance Directive.  Make your final wishes known and spare your family any unnecessary pain of having to make that final decision.


Florence said...

Please give my condolences to your son in law.

BTW, I have a picture of my husband and me in our third grade class. So we have known each other from almost as early in life as your daughter and son-in-law. This May we will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary.

Olga said...

How very sad for your son in law and your family.

Advanced Directive, done.

oklhdan said...

Florence, that is so anniversary is in May also (only 2 years) but my husband and I met in the first grade. We reconnected 10 years ago and were married in May of 2011. Congratulations on 45 years!

oklhdan said...

Olga, good for you! It's amazing though how many people are resistant to pre-planning for what is obviously the inevitable (death).