that phone call from Tim...that horrible phone call that ripped apart my world before he even spoke a word...hearing him struggle to get the words out shook me to my very core
seeing my Mom...wanting to wrap her in my arms and comfort her because she looked so lost
the hugs from my brothers and sisters...hugs that you didn't want to end
seeing him wheeled by in the hall and recoiling in shock at the stranger on the stretcher...was that really him?
the kindness of the doctor who took the time to repeat his words to us several times over because when he's talking about your Dad it takes many repititions for it to even begin to make a little bit of sense
holding Dad's hand and feeling him squeeze my hand back...it wrenches my heart even now to think about it
the hope...that devastatingly cruel emotion that resides in your heart even when you know you have little reason to hope because, maybe?
being ordered, yelled at, to leave the room when all the alarms started their noise and the terror that sound managed to create
standing in the waiting room and watching through the windows as the doctors and nurses ran by the windows, knowing they are running to save the life of your Dad and every fiber of my being praying they succeed
the nurses in the ICU bringing more chairs to accomadate our family and how that simple gesture brought me to tears
the look on the doctor's face and knowing finally that life was never going to be the same
taking a phone call from Sam after Joe inadvertently told Sam what was going on and hearing the wrenching sobs from my boy...knowing I had to ease his fears and comfort him in his sorrow but not knowing how to even begin to do that because I could barely stop from crying myself as I listened to him sob
needing to touch Dad...his hand, his leg, his hair...and the comfort I received from that contact
hearing my Mom talking to him quietly...telling him over and over how much she's loved him...that it was okay for him to go...and the miracle of him turning towards her voice
watching my children tiptoe in and say their goodbyes...a little fearful, tremendously sad, but really not fully understanding the finality of that goodbye
breaking down again and again and again and there always being someone there to wrap me in a hug and doing the same for the others when they couldn't hold it together themselves
making the decision, as a family, a single unanimous decision, that he'd want nature to determine the time of his death and not to simply exist on machines
walking in to his hospital room the next morning as they were preparing to take him off life support...angry at the priest as he gave him Last Rites and yet at the exact same time being so thankful he was there for him, my Mom, and all of us...tears streaming down my cheeks unchecked and realizing when we finished praying that I had grabbed onto the hands of my siblings on either side of me.
listening to his uneven breathing...at times shuddering, at times strong and deep...and once again, hope steals into my heart, enough hope that I felt okay leaving
my phone ringing as I drove home not even ten minutes from the hospital and crying aloud "no, no, no, no" before I could answer
seeing my oldest brother waiting at the door to the ICU and collapsing into his hug sobbing
kissing Dad goodbye one last time and the horrible aching pain in my heart as we all had to walk away and leave him, all alone in that room. It felt so wrong
It still feels wrong