Sunday, October 14, 2007

Flowers for my father

This is a repeat photo from several months ago. I’m posting it again because my father was partial to mums. You may have noticed it’s been a few days since I last posted. My wife and I have been in Michigan to be with my mother and siblings as my father fought for his life in a hospital near his hometown. He developed septic shock following surgery a couple of weeks ago to remove a diseased kidney. It was a surprise to everyone since every sign following the kidney surgery was positive up until he began to feel ill earlier last week.

Septic shock occurs when the body fights a large scale infection, putting all its resources to the task of eliminating the intruder. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of healthy tissue and organs, and they are either neglected by the circulatory system, attacked by an immune system gone wild or both.

The doctors and critical care unit did everything to give my Dad every fighting chance, but early this morning, he lost a four-day fight against time and himself as the shock destroyed his lungs' ability to keep his battered body going. Last evening, he was alert and responsive as my mother, my siblings and I gave him our love and encouraged him to keep fighting. We are a fortunate family to not have any outstanding issues between our parents or each other, which freed us to focus all our care and concern on my father throughout his illness. He turned 71 while in the hospital. He and my mother would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in a few days.

He will be cremated and we are considering spreading his ashes in many of the outdoor places he loved in Michigan. The same places he took his family while we were growing up, and the places we came to love as well. I still seek out natural places and capture their beauty with a camera from time to time, a legacy my father gave me.

And one of many, many things for which I am thankful.

10 comments:

Jessi said...

I am so sorry for this difficulty. I am glad to know you are feeling thankful and were given a chance to express your love for your father. My grandfather died last year this time and it was very sudden. One this I wish for was a chance to say I loved him. I know he knew this, but I am always happy when I hear others had this chance. I love your work and check in every day. My thoughts are for you and your family today.

Hillary said...

I'm so sorry, James. I will be praying for you and your family. Grace and peace be with you.

Otto K. said...

I am very sorry for your loss, James. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Dona said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss, James. What I've read in your blog about your dad, he seems like he was a wonderful father, role model and mentor.

Heather said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Heimdallr said...

Sorry to hear about your father James, my thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
Sandy

V. Schroeder said...

Sympathy and prayers for you and your entire family, James. A light has gone from here, but is still shining as your mums give testimony.

James said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I appreciate them so very much.

Kim said...

James, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Pastor Bill Pevlor said...

James,
It's been awhile since I've been able to check your blog. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I join with the others in praying for your mother, you and your family.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18