My dad is dying right now. I don’t mean like he has been for the past several years. I mean that within minutes he’ll be gone. My mom just called (1:54 a.m.) from the hospital in SLC and said that his heart had stopped and that he would be gone in a few minutes.
He had a stroke yesterday morning after he had a risky surgery called an ablation on Monday. He called the ablation his, “double K” plan. “Kill me or Kure me” he kept saying. Fortunately the Lord made sure I got to see him again as I had taken a Monday off for doctor’s appointments, etc from work and had word that he was going in for surgery and although I didn’t feel super strongly one way or the other about going, I did buy a plane ticket and went to see my dad.
We, the doctors, me and everyone, kept telling him that it wasn’t as clear as that and that it hopefully wouldn’t kill him but that it probably wouldn’t cure him, at least entirely. But it was a last resort.
My dad had been experiencing “episodes” we’d been calling them because we weren’t quite sure what else to call them. When I spoke with the Dr, Dr Ramirez, I asked him what exactly was happening during his episodes he said that essentially is he going into ventricular fibrillation. A heart rhythm, that since school immediately attaches to itself in my memory with the text book phrase, “not compatible withe life”.
Basically what that means is that his heart is fluttering randomly, unable to to beat collectively, and effectively, unable to pump any blood. The purpose of his pacemaker, in this case, is to send a shock to his heart to reset the electrical pathway, hoping to synchronize the movement-giving a cohesive beat rather than random fibrillation. (Hence de-fibrillation). It is 2:30 a.m. and I still have not received word on a final death.
I did speak with Lois about 15 mins ago (2:13 a.m.) Lois is calling right now. They called it. While I was one the phone with mom or shortly after she hung up.
I’m speaking with her (Lois) about it right now. 2:32 a.m. That’s when I found our that my dad has died for sure. 2:32 a.m. on March 3rd, 2011. Now I’m thinking about my mom, and then my dad again, and smiling. I remember him telling her before he went in for the ablation on February 28, that he was going to try to stay alive for her long enough to get another vet-check, meaning the beginning of March, or something like that-to make sure she had just a little bit more money. He was a cheeky fellow that's for sure but he always wanted to take care of people, even if he didn’t always know how to do it. And he did it. He always found a way. Often the hard way, but that seems genetic. The Evans way.
I’m glad it’s not especially cold tonight, at least not in my room here in Santa Rosa, where it’s usually very chilly. I’m glad to be able to sit here and remember my dad in warmth.
I also like hearing that I was on the phone when it happened. Although, it doesn’t mean much, maybe it’s just me grasping for last memories of him but I’m glad to hear it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just one last little connection to him. I love him. I love him so much. He was a great man. Anyone would say it, and not just because he is gone now. Exasperating at times, but you couldn’t help but love him. No one could. My friends still share wonderful memories of him. Usually of being scared of him in the most exciting and happy kind of way. They way kids giggle and scream for you not to tickle their belly while holding up their shirts and inching towards you.
I am especially grateful that my dad looked so good when I saw him (I was in Salt Lake City, Ut at the hospital with him over the weekend). In fact, he looked better than I’d seen him in years.
Mom just sent a text. I can call her now if I want to. I’m calling. I love her. 2:47 a.m.“His lungs stopped first, and then his heart. Then they checked his brain and there was no activity.” She’s telling me that, “he wasn’t going to have much of a recovery after all the work they were doing. And that if he came out it he wouldn’t have a very good life.” I’m typing as she’s telling me.
She says they’re going to do his autopsy. I’m telling her that I don’t care what medical reason they come up with, he’s gone because he wanted to be. Because he chose it. “Kill me or Kure me”. And he’s always made his own decisions. And I don’t doubt that he made this one, as well.
Lois and mom both say that earlier today (I guess it would have been yesterday morning) he said that he had made his peace with God and asked him to give him “the big one”. Those are Lois’ words, I don’t know if those are his words, too, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m glad that he’s made his peace with God. That’s all I’ve been praying for. Okay, not all, but the biggest one. I even fasted for it last time I fasted, last fast Sunday. I prayed that God would forgive him for anything that he might have felt he’d done wrong, but mostly that he would forgive himself, and that even I might forgive him for anything I might be holding on to. I do love my dad. I always have. And I always knew he loved me. It wasn’t always easy and we didn’t always know how to show each other but I think we both knew that we loved each other. Or at least I hope he knows I love him. I never quite knew how to act around him because we’ve had some really special moments but not always a strong relationship-either that or too strong. I do think that my dad and I are a lot alike in many ways. Sometimes, against my will and in some ways I wanted to change. But sometimes, I even see a glimpse of my dad’s greatness in me too. And I like that.
He knows I love him. I’m sure he does. Because he and I had an understanding. A quiet one. Our best times were knowing what we both knew: you don’t need to talk to connect. I remember mostly, when we got along best, I think I was around 13-14. He would be in his room watching tv, lying on his stomach, eating Sour Cream & Cheddar Ruffles potato chips. I would, usually in an attempt to just escape (same reason I think he was in his room watching tv), silently join him in his room. I’d just lie on my stomach next to him and relax. Just relax. My dad didn’t always like sharing his chips but eventually-without words-the bag would tilt my way. We were sharing a moment. He was telling me that he loved me and liked having me around. This was somewhat of a routine for a while. I think we really understood each other in those moments. For just a few moments, no pressure for him, or from him. Just a moment. A father and a daughter, two souls-very similar in some ways-just loving each other. Quietly and without words.
I keep thinking about work later this morning. And I want to go. I want to go and just silently and helpfully go about my day helping people. But I know it’s a bad idea because something unperfect will happen, like someone else not realizing what a special day it is and I’ll be disappointed. Or first, someone will ask how my dad is doing and I’ll smile, not a happy smile, and say that he’s gone. Their pity is what will put me over the edge. I don’t want pity right now. I want peace. And right now I have it.
The first thing I did after my mom called was to pray. I got on my knees and I prayed. I prayed for him, I prayed for my mother, my family, and for me. I prayed that we all might have peace. I prayed hard. I even said to my Father in Heaven, “I’m praying hard right now. I’m praying so hard.” And I did. I prayed hard. And my prayers have been answered. I am at peace right now. I’m sniffly and intermittently crying, but I am at peace. I pray he is too.
I wonder what it’s like up there. Cause I know he went up, even if he’s surprised to find himself there. Which I’m sure he’s not. He wouldn’t have said he’s made his peace if he hadn’t. So I wonder what it’s like up there. I wonder what he’s doing. Because it’s real, you know. Heaven. It’s real. And God, and his love for us. All real. We forget that sometimes, I think.
I’m slowly running out of things to say but I don’t know what to do next if I finish this up. It seems strange to go back to sleep. I wish the temple was open now. Perhaps if I head down there and hit my first and probably only ever 5:00 a.m. session. I will probably be tired by then. I’d like to be very rested and spend a lot of time there today. And outside. He loved outside and I know that’s where he’ll be. Where I’ll feel him the most maybe.
My dad is dead. And I love him. But he’s so close. I know he always will be. I hope he’s pleased with what he finds in me when he’s watching. I love him. I love him so much. And now I’m hurting. Because I love him so much.
And now I’m hurting. But I’m okay. Thank you all for being who you are. And thank you for the love and support I’ve received through all this.
My dad is dead. And I was on the phone when it happened.