January 26th, 2013
I believe God asked me to leave a testimony, hopefully it will help someone who needs some strength in the Lord.
I don’t know where to begin. I started in church only a few years ago, so I’m still pretty knew, but I know the Lord has been helping me and has been my guiding light ever sense. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.
My father was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery back in July 2012. At that time he was told there was no more cancer cells and he did not do chemo. I have been in school getting my RN degree so this hit me even harder knowing what was really going on. I graduated with my AS degree in Nursing back in Aug. He was so proud of me, I am a 1st generation graduate, so it was extra special. In the middle of Oct I registered to take my boards on Nov. 18th. Well on Nov. 4th I took my father back to the ER b/c he thought he had a stroke. Well he was right. The cancer had returned and caused a brain tumor, causing a stroke. The next day we were told it was even worse, it was in both lungs, the kidney, and liver. Then 3 days later, another doctor said that was incorrect, it was just in both lungs, and with radiation and chemo, it should slow it down greatly. He underwent brain surgery but I thanked God for the answered prayers and felt so relieved it wasn’t worse. I was going to postpone my test until I knew he was ok, but he wasn’t having it. He wanted me to be a nurse so bad, and we all thought he would be fine. He was to start chemo and radiation in a month after he recovered from brain surgery.
Well on Nov 30, I received a call that he was back in the ER again, that he wasn’t eating. I came up there to keep him company, only to have the ER doctor come in and tell my father and I that the 1st doctor was correct, the cancer had spread to both lung, the kidneys, liver, and now the diaphragm & heart. We both just started sobbing. When I talked to the doctor alone, he told me he was terminal, and that we were looking at 2 or 3 months. I was devastated, he would never see his little girl in her dream job, I would never be able to give him grandchildren, (he has 1 frm my half brother) but him and my mother who he was married to for 32 years, never got to share in the joy of a grandchild, he would never get to walk any of his girls down the isle, but I knew God had a plan and I may have forgotten that, but God always reminded me and brought me back to that.. I prayed and prayed, I am the only person in my family who goes to church, but that didn’t stop me. I put him and our family on the prayer list and church and talked personally with our pastor each week.
My dad got progressively and noticeable worse with each day. My brother and sister in law flew in on Sun the 9th (also my dad’s birthday), on Tues (the 11) my cousins from Georgia and Cali flew in so we were able to take one last family picture. My dad was still awake, smiling, trying to talk to us, but still, he was alert and could communicate with us. On Wed morning (the 12) my dad took a turn for the worse, he was so delusional and weak they had to sedate him. So God gave us just enough time for my cousins to get here to take a photo. We decided Wed to put him hospice. My grandmother (my mothers mom) and my cousin drove all the way from Cali (we live In Fl) on Wed night. That was the last of the family who planned on seeing him. I believe God waited or everyone to be here.
At 4am Thurs, Dec 13th, I received a call from my mother that my dad had gotten worse and the nurse said he only had few more hours. So my bother, sister and I went and he had some time with him before we called the rest of the family. About 9am, we decided the oxygen was prolonging the inevitable, and we didn’t want him suffering anymore. We all took turns saying our goodbyes one by one. I was the last one to say my intimate goodbye to my father. My sister in law is a CNA so she has dealt with a lot of death, so she also knew the signs of when it was getting close. Not even 5 minutes after I walked out of the room, my sister came running and telling my brother and I that something was going on. I walked in and looked at my sister in law, and she said he was cheynes stoking, which is also known as “death rattle.” I remember from nursing school, the day I learned that word, she said it was ‘impending death.” We were all at his side as he took his final 2 or 3 breaths before God called him home.
God planned everything perfectly. He waited for my brother to get here before my father was unable to communicate, laugh, or talk. My father was able to see his only grand child (9 months old) for only the 2nd time. His grand child will have a few pictures to remember his granddaddy by. Then he allowed my grand mother to come in to town to help my mother cope. Then on the worst day of my life, God was truly on my side. Each and every one of us got to go and actually say goodbye to him. Millions of people would do anything to say goodbye to a loved one. That was such a blessing.
HE IS ALWAYS ON TIME!!! God is at work, when you don’t understand something, don’t want something to happen, he is still at work. You just have to open your eyes, your heart, and your faith, and find him. I am truly blessed. I don’t think I’ve even begun to heal from the loss of my father, but each day I wonder and ask myself what my dad would have said to me on that Tues afternoon if he knew it was going to be the last time he ever spoke to me. That’s something I will never know, but I know what would be worse, not being able to kiss him one last time, not be able to hold his hand, tell him how much I love him, not getting a chance to say goodbye to my father. God allowed that to happen, for me, for my brother and sister, for my mother, and for every single person in his life who wanted to say goodbye. I can just imagine that doesn’t get to happen all too often, and we are so blessed God decided to bless us.