I am laying in the hospice suite at Regional Memorial tonight getting ready to go to bed. My Dad was taken to the ER yesterday and then admitted to ICU. Now the day before, Friday, he was at Sheltering Arms, where he had been for a little over a week doing physical therapy getting his strength back and was walking with his cane and going up 3,4 steps and coming down them. He was doing really good. We were looking forward to him being released the following Saturday and coming home. We just wanted to take care of him and make him comfortable. Let him feel the sun on his face, feel the breeze be surrounded by the people that love him the most and would do anything to make this process as easy and pain free as we could.
He had a heart attack! Yes, I know. That’s not in the script. We didn’t plan for that. We have everything lined up just so and that doesn’t involve a heart attack a trip to the ICU and my Dad dying at any time now. He has a year to a year and a half. Oh wait, no probably a year, that’s more of what we should expect. Well, now we are thinking more like 6 to 9 months. Wow, this really is a tragedy. We did not think this was going to play out like this. We thought we would have several rounds of chemo, radiation etc. etc. This is just not how we saw this going. These of course are not the exact words from the Dr. Some, but you get the general idea. We are just a little under the three month mark. How did we go from a year and a half to we might not even make it to three months? How did we get here? This just happened so fast? I’m not ready? I have plans, I’ve rearranged my house for him to come stay there. I want him to sit on the front porch with me. I want to read to him, take him on walks. My Mom is not ready. She has plans for things she wants to do or say I’m sure. My brother and sisters, his grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends. We have things to do and say and want to have that one special moment in the time we have left! It’s not fair! Don’t take that from me God!
I needed to take a minute and get myself together. I have calmed down a little. I forgot during all my planning that I wasn’t in control. I haven’t been in control of any aspect of this since the very beginning. Nothing about this cancer has gone the direction we thought it was going to go and everytime we get comfortable a curve ball is thrown our way. I don’t get to plan my Dad’s last days. The hour and the time, the when and the where. Is there comforting music playing. Is he surrounded by all his family. Have we all gotten to look in his eyes at least once since this started and let him know how much we love him, how much he means to us, how much we are going to miss him. How JT and I know that if we ever saw an alien he is the only one that would ever believe us. How he can look at me and know if I’m not doing well I can talk to him about anything, if I need to call him in the middle of the night to have him pray for me or anything there is never a question he just does. That no matter what I have done in my life I know my Dad loves me unconditionally. PERIOD!!
I don’t know if anyone got to say or do all they wanted. I don’t think there would ever be enough time to be honest with you because the list would go on forever. I do know a couple of things though in thinking and writing all of this out. As I wrote this I saw how many things that I listed that I wanted to make sure I got to do and I got to say and I wanted. It’s not about me. It’s not about my comfort. It’s not about making sure I get to take care of my to do list so I feel better. This is about my Dad. All those things are nice and great and movies play out so wonderfully when they show how everything just falls into place so naturally and beautifully. Well that’s not real life. What is real life? What? This is so hard. Losing a parent is just not even registering correctly with me right now.
I want my Dad to know he is loved. I know he knows I love him. I know he knows through this process he is loved by more people than he thought. More people have reached out, visited, sent cards, called, texted, done acts of kindness the list goes on. My Dad was overwhelmed by the love he received and the places it came from. Every hospital we had to go to for even one day do you know what we heard over and over. Wow, he really has a lot of people that love him. We take over a waiting room when we come in. It’s a lot of people. When we were waiting during his brain surgery the Dr. came out and said whoa, you guys have your own rugby team here. A lot of people love him and we all rally and love on each other. I know I’m bias but my Dad has the best family in the world.
I want my Dad to be comfortable. He is. That’s where we are now. He is comfortable. It wasn’t my step by step plan, it was God’s. I keep forgetting I’m not his assistant. My brother Buddy made a statement that this might have been better for him and for us than to have him struggle and suffer months on end from the effects of the brain tumor. I never thought about that. He would slowly lose control of the left side of his body. Sight, movement, feeling, speech and much more. Is that what I want so I can sit on the front porch with him or take him for a walk. I think not.
So Lord willing we will be able to move him to my house tomorrow so he is in a familiar comfortable place, we can fit a lot of family in and people can stay the night but that is in Gods hands. He is a good good Father and he knows whats best for my Dad and that’s what’s most important.
(Just a little side note. I am super tired and I typed this and proof read it without my glasses on so ignore any misspelled words or crazy ramblings. I just wanted to get my thoughts out tonight. Thanks ya’ll)
10 thoughts on “What’s Most Important”
A beautiful tribute to a godly man, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and loved disciple of Jesus! We remember your dad and precious family from days at Resurrection in the 70’s. His teachings still are remembered. Please give our love and be assured of continued prayers for the family of comfort and hope on your journey…
By His Grace Aline,
Rebecca Mirly Barnwell
We love you so much Sarah!! We have been praying a lot for your dad and all those involved! You are an amazing wonder woman!
Bryan is hopping a 5am train tomorrow to be with ya’ll…staying with his dad. We wish we could all come.
Thank you for sharing your heart! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
This song came to mind this morning..
Valerie you bring me to tears. I love you guys so much. Mom told me this morning she was going to sit down and call Bryan. Dad wanted Bryan to speak when he passed. We just love you guys so very much. Sending hugs and kisses to you and the girls.
I’m so glad Bryan will be able to talk to your mom in person. 🙂
Also, I can’t help but think of heaven’s perspective in all of this and how gentle God has been to you all. I often see things in pictures in my mind’s eye. And I keep seeing the image of a train ride for your dad…a special timed ticket from the Father…not a ticket of death, but a ticket of Life, a ticket of promotion. I’m just so glad that He’s given us the chance to gather at the “train station” with your dad to say – not goodbye – but so long for now… ❤️
We are praying for your Dad and your family. We have loved Tom Bailey for many years and have received his wisdom and teachings with such appreciation! Love, Chuck and Janet Moore
I’ve kept up with you guys through Mary and please know I’m walking this with you in spirit. At this point in my life I’ve lost father, step-father. Father-in-law, and my brother. All were different in the way God worked. I wasn’t there for my dad or brother. My father-in-law was especially traumatizing as I was there alone with my mother-in-law and it was not peaceful. I hope that when Jesus takes your dad by the hand and tells him well done my good and faithful servant that the transition will be peaceful for him and for you guys. Love on him and live him into heaven. Know that God is in control and He will provide what you need as you need it. Lean on each other. I honestly believe that heaven is all around us and not as far away as we perceive. Your dad will be in your heart and close by forever. He just might communicate with you in different ways just like our Heavenly Father God does. I pray all of you will have the strength for each second, minute, hour and day ahead as you love each other and pawpaw. Let me know how I can help.
So touching. Please know that I’ve been in your shoes many times and I’m walking with you in spirit now. Mary has kept me up on everything. I pray that God will provide the strength you need for every second, minute , hour and day ahead. I also pray for the peace of God to pour over you as it will when Jesus takes pawpaws hand and welcomes him into heaven saying well done Tom.
Your family is special to ours and we are here for you with love. Hugs.
Your dad is one of the best men I have ever known! I loved hearing him preach. He always had such a sweet spirit! Prayers and love for all of you!
Tom Bailey I remember many fun times hard times at Res in Charlotte, I rember many of teachings. Most I rember when taught on no tv. Your family put the TV in the closet so they could watch. You are one of the most humble and loved people to minister at Res “rember Tom Bailey “ still hear those words” The enemy comes to steal….Jesus comes to give life” I wish would have known. Does anyone still live in Charlotte? Love u Tom and family Glyn & Rebecca Hasty