I was always close to my parents especially being an only child.
There's a lot of stories to tell about them but the story of their end is the hardest to tell.
On October 16th, 2010 my world changed forever.
This is the picture I will always remember. This was taken on October 16th of me and Annika. We didn't have a care in the world!
A few hours this was taken my mom called me to tell me my dad fell in the kitchen. Thinking he had like a broken leg or something I rushed to the house to see what happened. An ambulance had already come to pick him up when I arrived and my parents' neighbor came running to me to tell me she thought dad had a seizure and that he wasn't responding when they came for him.
Mom and I went to the ER and decided to go home when they told us they had lots of tests to perform and that he'd most likely be admitted since he still wouldn't respond much.
The next morning mom called to let me know that dad had a room in ICU but they didn't tell her much else.
I stopped at Panera along my way to get her to visit and got us both green teas and cinnamon crunch bagels.
We ate our bagels together as my mom gathered things together for dad. Shampoo, comb, shavers, clothes.
I yelled at her as we were leaving the house because I realized her shirt was inside out. She didn't want to go back inside to change it but I insisted and told her she wasn't going anywhere with me with her shirt like that.
At the hospital she complained of back and shoulder pain. She seemed to get really tired from walking from one end of the hospital to the other.
They told us dad had a drinking problem and that he was in detox now. He was sedated and on a ventilator because he was having DTs.
Mom denied his drinking problem while I confirmed it with the nurse. Mom refused to sign documents making her in charge of his medical care. I signed them instead.
I drove mom home and unlocked dad's truck to show her the hidden bottle of vodka along with an empty bottle. Large bottles.
I drove home.
2 hours later I got the phone call, "I'm sorry but your mother has passed away." Never in a million years would I have thought I'd get that call from my mother's own cell phone.
And just like that, she was gone.
For the next 7 weeks my dad was in and out of ICU and progressive ICU. He would breath fine on his own and then stop breathing. So he'd go on a ventilator and then off a ventilator. He had MRSA, then an infection, then he pulled out his feeding tube in his nose, then he had one in his stomach, then it got infected. It was never ending.
During those 7 weeks I juggled my full time job, Annika getting sick and being sent home from daycare at least 4 times, Josh's car breaking down (we ended up selling it and transferring my dad's car into my name so we could use it) and then Josh getting laid off from his job the week before Thanksgiving.
After Josh was unable to find another job on December 3rd we pulled Annika out of daycare.
On December 2nd I had my last conversation with my dad. He asked how Annika was, said he was upset that he missed her first birthday party, he wanted to know what mom died from (I told him she died after he was in the hospital for a week, he never knew what she died from), he told me to withdrawal all his money out of his bank account and wanted to be sure I had his PIN, he wanted to know what happened to each of their pets (shelters and one person adopted a dog they had), he told me to use his money to pay for Annika's daycare so Josh could get a job, told me to sell his car or keep it as my own and so many other things.
As they wheeled him back to put his feeding tube back in he told me it would work and that it was okay.
On December 4th while he was unresponsive and in a coma I said good-bye. On my drive home from the hospital he died.
On December 11th with family, friends and strangers that knew my parents we said good-bye.