Instead the kids and I have been in Ohio for the past three weeks. My brother and I had to become my father’s power of attorney and now we’re in the process of either putting him in a nursing home or hospice. I’ve been cleaning out his house and it’s being put on the market this week. I’ve been packing up all his belongings and making trips to Goodwill. I’ve gone through his personal belongings (seen a few things I didn’t want to see…) and some things that brought a smile to my face. I’ve sorted more NASCAR memorabilia, fishing reels and tackle to last me a lifetime. I’ve been thumbing through old pictures and remembering fun times with him and our family.
You see, I’m the only girl and youngest in my family, and even though I’m 35, I’m Daddy’s Little Girl and he always made sure I had (almost) everything I wanted within reason. He worked for General Motors for 33 years and would work 16 hour days just to make ends meet. We also had an antique shop so on his days off from GM he would either be out picking antiques or at auctions getting goodies for the shop or he would be in the garage repairing furniture to sell in the shop. He worked his butt off to provide for his family.
I’ve been fighting back tears and have had a few moments and broken down sobbing. Some days I’m fine, other days I’m a basket case. Even though he’s not perfect by any means, he is my Daddy and means the world to me and I will do anything in my power to make his last days the best I can.
He keeps telling me that he loves me and I tell him I love him too. He also keeps apologizing for past mistakes. I keep telling him that you can’t change the past and not to hold grudges. It’s just not healthy for your mind and soul. I’ve been reminding him of part of the Lord’s prayer, “forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Over the past month, my dad has found God and isn’t afraid to die. He says he’s ready. He wants to be in Heaven with his brother, sister, and parents. I’ve even caught him praying and talking to God when he thinks no one is watching. I watched him sit and talk with Chaplains at the hospital last week. The look of peace on his face as they prayed with him was so serene. It’s me that’s afraid….