87-year-old Pa, George’s father, who has been under hospice care, stopped eating the last couple of days. Being informed by George’s mother, George told me, “This is it.”
Including our 2nd son and his wife flying into LA from the Bay area, all our family visited Pa to say final farewell.
Beginning of this month, when Pa was carried to ER due to pneumonia, we all braced ourselves, as he wished no artificial extended life in the power of attorney documentation. Yet, a couple days before the Mother’s Day, when we visited him, he looked like he was doing well showing his nice smiles, being able to converse with strong grips to hold our hands, and even appeared to have a good appetite though he was only taking pasty baby foods. He gave me a kiss on my cheek at the end.
Though we were all relieved thinking that he should be ok for a while, his body was actually shutting down, I guess. Holding the hand of Pa, whose face was one size smaller than the last visit as he lost his weight and eyes were closed, I said, “ Pa, we all came together. God loves you and He is with you. So you will be ok.” He opened the mouth and said something, but nobody understood.
Pa loved dancing and when he was in good health, he would let me dance with him. A year before I got cancer, he had a stroke, which made him paralyzed and even unable to speak. Yet miraculously he recovered, and at a cousin-in-law’s wedding reception in a fall of the next year when I was diagnosed with cancer, we could dance again!
Even after he moved to an assistive care home and was in a wheelchair again, in the dance time, he took old ladies, who were also on the wheelchairs, and he enjoyed dancing by swinging the hands from left to right and right to left to the rhythm. That was one of my great pleasant memories of Pa.
“ Next time when I see you, I’m looking forward to dancing with you.” That was my last greeting for Pa. After George thanked him for all he has done, we, including George’s mother, all held hands circling around Pa, and prayed to release him to God.
We’ll miss him greatly and that brings deep sadness, but this is the beginning of the eternal new life. We’ll see him. Because Jesus defeated death on his cross already, we’ll see him. I am grateful that God brought Pa into my life, into a very dear place.