February 23, 2015….
A day that will live in infamy for me personally.
It’s not a day that my kids will remember well, but it is a day that will be forever engrained in me.
At 11:50am EST my father passed away from a massive stroke. One that took the right half of his brain, and one that we could not do anything to help or save him from.
Day Feb 20th, 2015
Weather in Dayton is cold and snowy. The roads are getting bad and we’re all preparing for some nasty weather to blow through our area.
My dad heads home from his office at my moms request because she didn’t want him getting stuck at the office.
(My dad had his own CPA firm for 20+ years. This time of the year is his busy season, and it was not uncommon for him to spend the evening at the office working all through the night.)
He arrives home as diligently as possible and spends an average evening with mom over dinner and watching golf in their back room. Where he enjoyed many hours of golf on TV.
Time: 11:00ish PM. Mom kisses dad good night and says she’ll see him in the morning.
Time: 08:00ish AM the next morning… Mom finds dad on the floor in the backroom, twitching his arm and generally unresponsive. She yells for my sister (sister1) (who had moved back in a few months back) to call 9-1-1 because something was wrong with dad.
The paramedics get there in blazing fast time, get him loaded and off to the hospital. (They are thinking low blood sugar because he is a diabetic.)
He arrives to the hospital and get a cat scan, they know that it’s now not low blood sugar but something worse.
I receive a phone call not to long after finishing some off hours scheduled maintenance I had to do for work.
It’s my Uncle, and he sounds very somber. I can hear in his voice that he is distraught. “Robby; we’re at the hospital, somethings happened to your dad, it’s not good buddy…”
I get dressed as quickly as I can. I get in touch with my other sister (sister2) to tell her I am on my way to pick her and her two boys up to take them with me to the hospital.
After a ferocious drive through the snow covered roads, and sending my truck sideways down back roads on our way. We meet up with sister1 in the waiting room, we all hug and tear up a little. She tells us that it doesn’t look good and runs through the story of what happened with us.
I call my Uncle who is back with my Mother and his wife, (moms sister).
He comes out, and sister2 and I go back to see Dad… I Could tell right away that this wasn’t good.
He was unconscious and twitching his hand and feet as if he was uncomfortable.
His eye peeked open once or twice, like he was looking around to see what was going on around him…
When the ICU resident come down to talk to us we talk about life saving measures; which simply boils down to, do everything possible!
We’re there for what seems like minutes, which turns out to really be hours..
He is moved from ER to the ICU. On the way they send him through the MRI..
Once in the ICU the doctor is finally ready to talk to us, (Keep in mind that an additional set of hours has now gone by).
My Mother, Uncle, Brother, and I all go back to dads room to talk with the doctor.
The doctor meets us in the room, and asks to step into the hall to talk with us.
Once in the hall he pulls up the MRI scans and shows us how the stroke has taken the whole right half of his brain.
The only procedure that can be done is to remove part of his skull to alleviate pressure from the dead side starting to swell and keep it from crushing the left half…….
The doctor didn’t think that dad was a good candidate for the procedure because of some past health issues. Aside from “if” he could survive the surgery, his quality of life would be completely degraded.
“He will unlikely be able to walk, or speak ever again, and would most likely not be able to take care of himself at all”,….
This, .. This broke me a little, …
My dad was not the kind of guy to take things sitting down. He was an avid golfer who would be on the course in the pouring rain with a fractured wrist because he had a tournament coming up..
As a family; my Mother, three siblings and I decided that the likelihood he would survive surgery and the life he would have afterwards was not the kind of life he would want to live…
Deciding to let a family member; a parent,.. die. Is a very difficult decision,… THE most difficult decision that I’ve had to be part of.
Personally I know how I feel about it if I were in his situation. And I would want my family to decide what we did for him.
Over the next three days we keep him company 24 hours a day.
There was not a minute that one (more like four or five) of us were not in his room with him.
It felt good in his room too. You could feel so much love coming off of everyone that made it by to see him, and hang out for a few minutes/hours.
February 23rd, 2015….
At 11:50am my father drew his last breath on this earth.
We were all gathered at his bedside to see him leave this word. …
There hasn’t been a day that has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about him.
I miss him,..
I miss his corny ass jokes, his stories about his latest golf outing, or him telling me for the third or fourth time a story about a plan he has for working on something….
I miss you papa…