Friday, August 28, 2009

More Details... Otherwise Known as 'Life in the Whirlwind'

Hello Humble Readers...

First and foremost... thank you so much for all your support and kind words. This has been a challenging few days for all of us. Your friendship means so much.

To give you all the full picture, I have to go back to almost a week ago. Mom C called to tell us that she and Dad were going up to Burns Lake to visit my Beloved's older sister and brother and their families. They were taking Uncle J an Aunt P with them (Uncle J is Mom's older brother), as they are both too elderly to drive themselves.

They had only been there for a couple of days. On Monday morning, at around 10:30, Dad had the stroke. Due to a comedy of errors, it took a while (meaning 2 or 3 minutes) to find a phone in the house that was charged and functioning, and then of course Burns Lake does not have 911 service.

It took 2 and a half hours to get Dad to Prince George, by which time it was too late for the doctors to administer the drugs that can assist in recovery from a stroke. While he was initially unresponsive for a brief time, he came around and was aware of his surroundings and who was with him. He was unable to speak and had no mobility on his right side, but he would squeeze Mom's hand from time to time. The doctors were initially hopeful that they would be able to get him stabilized and then send him closer to home for rehab.

Dad stayed alert through most of the night. Sometime after 5am on Tuesday, he closed his eyes, and he didn't wake up. It was at this point that the doctors gave the word to gather the family.

My Beloved got the call at 2:30, and he picked me up from work at 3:00. We had some back and forth about how we were going to get out there. My Beloved's other brothers and their wives flew out of Calgary. We flew out of Edmonton (and drove like demons to get there). Our plane went to Vancouver, at which point the other family members boarded, so we were all able to land in Prince George together.

We landed just after 8pm. Mom and my Beloved's older sister were at the airport to meet us. Dad had passed peacefully at 6:15. We missed him by an hour and forty-five minutes.

Dad loved Burns Lake, and often joked that he would move back there before he died. He would not have wanted to live reliant on someone for his every need. I think he would have been glad to go quickly.

After the initial blow, we went to the hospital, and said our goodbyes in the viewing room. We then made our way to the motel where we were all going to be staying and had a bit of a wake (as close to it as a bunch of non-irish folk can). We ate pizza, drank a few too many beers & coolers, and toasted the empty chair in the room.

The next morning, after breakfast, it was decided that the majority of the famiy would go back out to Burns Lake for a few days. My Beloved and I drove home with Uncle J and Aunt P and their son (who had come out to get them). The rest of the family is on the road home today. My Beloved's oldest brother is taking two weeks off to stay with Mom.

We are going to be having a memorial open house/come and go sort of thing at the Curling Club in Didsbury on the Saturday of the long weekend. My Beloved and I are going down on Monday (Mom and Dad's anniversary) to spend the day with the family, and will probably go down another time or two before next weekend.

One thing that I am struggling with... and it may seem odd... but, in my family I am the oldest. When there are events like this to be planned, I am usually the one planning and organizing. It's been how I tend to cope in situations like this. But my Beloved is the youngest... by a LOT (he was the oops baby) and the others have always done all the planning and just told him when and where to show up. I feel like I need to be doing something, but it's all been done already.

I'm sorry that I've been rambling. I just needed to get these things out. Thank you for 'listening'.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking about you and your family.

    I understand your need to do things in this type of situation. I am the same way.

  2. Ramble away Mrs. G, thats what we are here..And when you're ready, there's an award waiting for you at my blog..

  3. Oh Mrs. G, I am so sorry. It sounds like you are all doing well, but I'm sure it's been quite devastating to lose him. Thoughts and prayers, continued.

  4. I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for your note on my blog.

  5. I am so sorry, and even sorrier that you missed seeing him. Know that my thoughts are with you and your family. Give your dh a giant (((HUG))) for me and then accept one for yourself.

    Take care lady.

  6. You have not been rambling, on the contrary, your post was so precise and coherent it was very easy to read. I think it helps accepting the situation when you put it down on paper (ops...or the net of course!) those days must have been really tough and above all really sad. I can understand your need of doing something but possibly it's better just to let them know you are available this time and let them be busy on this occasion. Much love, Fran

  7. Vent away, that's what we're here for!!

    Sounds like DH has a wonderful and supportive family. I liked your description of the "non-Irish" wake.

    I don't think your struggle is "odd." I think trying to keep oneself busy is common during times like this. And if you're used to being the planner instead of just an attendee, I imagine it's quite difficult to be part of the sidelines.

    Continuing to pray for you and DH.


  8. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thoughts remain with you and your family during this difficult time.

  10. It sounds like you are one tight-knit family which is a beautiful thing. I hope the final send off is one you can all be proud of.

    On another note - thank you so much for offering to send me a little handicraft of your own making. Let me know what I have to do as part of the blog handicraft sending chain.

  11. Still keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. What you wrote is not qualified to be called rambling. It is too coherent.

    I am so sorry for the loss. He was so dear to you and you were dear to him. His memory and legacy lives on!



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