I’ve been gone a bit, not on purpose but gone, none the less. I have been mending hearts and attempting to get healthy, all at once. So this is my month that I have missed you…..
I got a call from my sister on the 4th of January, just minutes before my morning alarm clock was to go off. She starts off saying that I needed to prepare myself, that our Papa wasn’t good, and on his way to the emergency room right at that moment. (We had to put him in a nursing home towards the start of October and has been moved a few times since then.) His oxygen level was at 40%. (Let me now say, that there is a MAJOR difference between being on a “DNR” and a “Comfort Care” program. (on another day, here soon I will explain what I have learned). She said she would keep me informed! My sister always does a fantastic job on this!
As I was trying to hold it all together and get Jaden ready for school, we had only moments till we had to leave. I sat with him, and told him I was sad, that Papa was very sick today, and that I really needed Papa to be healed. So we gathered together our day, and packed his things and the girls, and to the car we went. Not knowing how long it would take before I would hear from my sister again I am having so many crazy things going through my mind. As driving, my phone rings, I look down and it was her, barely an hour has passed since our first talk. She tells me that, she was on her way to the hospital and wanted to let me know that HOSPICE has now been called in, and that it is all just a matter of time. I had to let her go, but was very thankful that she took the time to call me. I know that being the person actually there, it is hard to take time out to make these types of calls. I was running so late because of our morning, that I had to sign Jaden into class because we were a few minutes late.
I got the girls home and settled back into routine. I sat my butt down on the couch, and began my “heart to heart” with God. It went a little something like this….” Please Lord, do not let him suffer any longer, I may not know your will or ever understand it, at this point I really don’t ever care too. I know that he is not the man you designed for him to be, I know this disease is something that has taken him away, his mind is gone. Please Lord, let Papa find the Peace that he found in you all his life, help him to find the Peace that he has always know in you just for a moment, so that he can rely on you to take him.” My phone rang just a bit afterwards, and it was my sister again…. She said he was gone…..
Have you ever had a moment like this??? A moment where your heart is so broken, you have not one word, not one thought, but at the same time felt this total breath of relief about something so sad… about a goodbye that you will never have again?
I started immediately on the computer with trying to find tickets home. We live in Las Vegas, you would think that there should be plenty of options right??? Wrong, well maybe not completely wrong… Affordable wrong, is my answer. My first impression of tickets, since I need to buy 5 seats is…. prepare yourself…. 3500… yep you read me right….. $3500.00 for airline tickets even higher for the most part, I would also need a car, in addition to that price! So I started making calls, did you know that the majority of airlines no longer have a Bereavement Fare? Seriously who chooses to go home on the “spur of a dime” at those prices? However I did find that Southwest Airlines, although they did not give that discounted fare, were able to offer me a Military Discount. (I am not really sure how it all works, I think it has to be a last minute circumstance but they offered it) I took it! It wasn’t 1/2 off or anything, but I was going to have to pay either way… so… they held the tickets till I got a chance to talk with my husband. We left the next afternoon to head home to Ohio. ( I can complain about how seating is done another time).
My sister worked out the rental car itinerary for me, which was another very GREAT sisterly thing!! We got into my dad’s house at about 3:30 in the morning. We were tired, and of course did not know what was in store for us, over the next couple of days. The viewing was on Sunday and then the funeral another 2 hours away on Monday. Talk about some traveling, all I have to say about that… is good thing my kids are part of the Military and able to pick up and go at a moments notice, and are absolutely fine with it. The funeral (burial) time was nice. A military unit came out and did a presentation to my grandmother! It was nice that though he fought in a war, and then departed from all military life when he was done. He was still showed even at the burial, how important this was for not only his family, but also to the country, and they paid their respects to his family, for the life that he gave so willingly!
We left on Tuesday afternoon, and saying goodbye to my family again, was not easy. Especially knowing that my grandmother has Alzheimer’s and stress like this, is something that just might push her farther along quickly.
Over the past month that I have been back… we have all been sick in my house, which is the main reason why I have not been here to write. However the honesty part would be…. I just haven’t know what to say. I have nothing much on my mind but my grandfather. The fact of living this Military Life, being so far from your family and loved ones… the sacrifices that we have made….. they are not just sacrifices of living abroad, or going to war, having a part time spouse, not having the other parent there to see the parts of life that they are missing in their children’s lives. The only part that I am ever really shocked at in the public opinion is… they miss the point of ….. it’s not just the sacrifice that our Military member gives, it that we……. don’t just miss out on a lot of life with our loved ones, but that when circumstances rise… we can not just be there. We can’t just jump in a car and drive down the road. We pick up our family we have with us, and we travel miles and miles, we pay the price physically and emotionally and the $$$ too. It is not easy to do all this, and a lot can not financially afford to do the prices I mentioned above, so they miss out on their goodbyes. These are other sacrifices that the Military willingly makes. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining…..
I was very saddened to see that many “family” members who lived right there, with no other obligations to stop them…. were not there. Maybe I shouldn’t say that I was saddened maybe I should say that I was ANGRY. I am ANGRY that children who are asked to come for a visit before things get that bad, didn’t make any attempt to go. That people who live within an hour, have the ability to say… how much they are going to miss that person, and Bawl and cry that they died, when in 5 years they never took a moment to go see them..
I know that being a Military Family, is a choice of sacrifice that each of us has made, and probably would make all over again. However, even though I have been away from home for almost 18 years now…. I may not enjoy every moment I get to spend visiting family back home, because of how times do change…. I will always cherish all the memories of the times I have had with my family going back there to visit. I don’t know if maybe some of my sickness over the past month has had anything to do with my grandfathers death. I am just happy that I took ALL of my kids back to spend time with him this summer. I am glad that his sufferings did not last long. I am so proud of this Military Life, because had my grandfather not served during the war… I’m not sure that we could have afforded to have him in the nursing homes that he has been in, had the VA not picked up the bills! This help in finances the past month, has helped with some of the added stresses for my mom and grandmother! Thank you VA!
So… that’s me… mending hearts!! And I have now… let it all out!
********For those that have questions about wether there is care offered for a Vet for a dementia unit… the link will take you… to mostly the questions and basic answers. You will need to talk to your rep…. But don’t forget to check locally, it’s amazing how much help that the VA will provide for Dementia and Alzheimers patients! I found this helpful, not that I recommending it, just that it gives pretty good insite! *****