God's Amazing Creation

God's Amazing Creation

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I love God!! I am a travelling RN working in labor & delivery. I have an AWESOME son & daughter in law and a brand new grandson! They will be fabulous parents because THEY are outstanding. I love the Seattle Seahawks...my favorite player hands down is Richard Sherman for a number of reasons. I love to draw portraits and I am dabbling with mixed media painting...I suppose I'm an artist! I love photography, but I'm a novice & am constantly practicing as I make my way through God's wonderful creation.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Tribute to My Most Favorite

A Phone Call
Today is the 2nd anniversary of the day before I received the most life changing news I'd ever received. Two days before one of the most painful and worst days of my life. I'm at work and the phone rings....

Linda (crying): "Ang, I've got something to tell you, and it's not good news honey."
Me (mind racing): "What is it Mom? Tell me!"
Linda: "It's your Dad honey...something happened..."
Me: "No! No it can't be...is he okay?"
Linda: "I'm afraid not honey, he's had a stroke...a bleed in his head and it's bad Ang, really bad. They don't think he can pull through."
Me: "I.....I.....don't know what to say. I'll be there as quickly as I can."

 A Frenzy
I'm immediately on the phone. I call the airlines and book a flight for me and Kory for noon that day. I tell my boss I'm going to have to go. I'm crying so hard I can't call Randy (my husband at the time) to come pick me up so my boss calls him for me.

A Trip
The next week is like a surreal dream. One I wish I could wake up from, but never did. Kory left school, I left work...we packed in a frenzy & were driven to the airport by a resentful man (because of the $ spent on the plane tickets) and we were on our way. A full day of flying. 6 hours of actual air time. It was so difficult to be 'social' with the happy people around me while my insides were screaming "Wipe the smile off your faces! Don't you understand?!?!" I ordered a glass of wine on the plane, hoping that it would calm my nerves just a bit. FAIL What can calm you at a time like this? We arrived in Spokane, and Mom picked us up from the airport (alone, thankfully...story for another day) and drove us straight to the ICU at Sacred Heart where Dad and the rest of the family was.

A Realization
I can not describe to this day the flood of emotions I felt when I saw him laying there in his hospital bed. Ventilator breathing for him. EKG leads hooked up to his chest. As am ICU nurse, this should have been at least a tiny bit manageable, right? WRONG. My knees buckled & Mom & Kory were there for me to grab for support. I thought, "Maybe if I walk over and touch his hand, he will respond somehow. There will surely be something left there.....surely" Once I composed myself and felt that my legs would actually hold me up to walk over to him...I went, slowly. I stood next to him and stared. I pulled up an eyelid to see if there was any hint of life in that beautiful blue eye. Nothing. It was as glazed over and empty as the hundreds I'd seen up until this point. I knew it was over for him. Had been over for him well before I arrived. They were gracious enough to keep the 'life support' going until I could be there to watch what little involuntary system functions shut down. It didn't take but just a few minutes for me to start barking demands. "Turn it OFF!! Unplug it! He's gone, can't you see that? PLEASE! Get it off of him!" Immediately as they turned the ventilator off, my anger kicked in. The nurses didn't know what to do with me as I was ripping the monitor leads off his chest & fingers, pulling out the IVs. It was mere moments after they turned the machines off before I felt his heart stop beating. His body never tried to take another breath. He was really gone. My hero, my apostle Paul, my Dad was really gone.

A Fog
The next few days were a series of making arrangements for the funeral, his attire for the casket, who would ride with whom, what time to meet for this and that, the post funeral gathering where you 'make nice' with all the people who are there to pay condolences, blah blah blah. It was a fog. I walked through a faith shaking fog of despair and disbelief. I made attempts to socialize with my step sisters & step Mom (Linda), my Mom and her husband, my Nana...and anyone else who was present at the time, but I was in such a state I'm not sure I can describe or even understand myself the way I felt. Unsocial is an understatement. I did not want to talk to anyone about anything. I wanted Kory in the room with me, and nothing else. I tried to lean on Mom, and she tried, but was prevented by her ever so needy husband, to console me at one point after we left the hospital on that dreadful day. (It was then that I had to leave Mom and go stay at Nana's house until after the funeral because I was in no position to properly deal with this man.) Nana is a quiet woman, and she has been around the block, so she was very sensitive to me and my need to be silent. The way I was able to sleep was by drinking wine until I absolutely not stay upright any longer, and even then the sleep was short lived. Yeah, there was a tear in my (beer) wine. Not the best way to deal with a crisis, but it's what I did.

A Gift 
For me, honestly, the best thing about the entire experience was the fact that I had an unbelieveably mature son by my side every second of the day who helped me hold myself together. I'm sure I would have made it through somehow, but he lightened my load so much just by being himself and simply being present. A true gift from God.
**Side note regarding this: Kory has not ever been one who can handle people being too touchy feely with him. He gives a quick hug, kiss on the cheek or forehead, but don't expect any cuddling or holding hands, etc. It's just not in his personality.
The entire trip, Kory was right next to me. It was almost as if he was trying to protect me from my feelings and the horror of the entire thing. He sat next to me with his hand on my shoulder. He let me hold on to him when I just couldn't take it anymore and I was breaking down. He didn't leave the room I was in except for bathroom breaks. He encouraged me to hang up the phone when my ex was hounding me about the cost of this trip. He was my sounding board. He let me sleep next to him on the queen sized hide-a-bed at Nana's house and he forfeited the double bed at Mom's house to sleep in the recliner next to Mom's couch, where I slept. He simply was my rock. He was just 17 years old, and he was my stronghold. He is so much like my Dad, that I guess I should have expected it, and many times I know I've taken him for granted, but he proved to me in this experience the stellar young man he was, and he continues to do so even today.

A Funeral
The day of the funeral (December 17th, 2008) was the day the snow began. Not just a little snow...a blizzard. While in Spokane, I was afforded the privelage of driving my Dad's Dodge Ram. I'm not a Dodge fan, but it was perfect for the task of maneuvering through the snow packed city. In the back window of Dad's truck in huge letters it said, "If you were tried in court today for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" Yes, my apostle Paul. I need not go into the background of Phillip Eugene Queen to explain the fact that his existence on earth truly parallelled Paul's. At the funeral, we (my step sisters and myself) were given the opportunity to give a eulogy on Dad's behalf. My step-sister, Amy got up first and she read a passage from the Bible....the very same passage I had intended to read.
2Timothy 2: 1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Amazing how two people who knew Dad in different ways would choose the exact same passage out of the Bible for his eulogy. It says much about the man he had grown to become. The man he was. The man I loved. My Dad.

A New Day 
After the funeral, Kory and I spent a couple days with Linda. We tried to console Larry (Dad's companion and devout Phil Queen fan, an African Grey Parrot.) Larry actually sat on my leg and puffed himself up to snooze...Linda said this was something Larry only did with Dad, and since that horrible day, he would not even do that with her. Larry sensed the connection. We helped shovel the snow that continued to fall throughout the next several days. We decided that he died exactly when he did just to get out of having to shovel. :) I know that Dad never would have actually done that, but it was a bit of much needed comic relief after a very grueling several days. Since the airports were closed due to the blizzard, we spent a couple days at Mom's after it was all over. We went sledding down the hill behind Mom's house, we went to 49 Degrees North and went skiing. We made the most out of the rest of the visit. Kory was literally waist deep in snow out in 9 mile where Mom lived at the time. It snowed ALOT! I love snow and had not seen any real snow for years (being stuck in Arkansas) so it was a blessing from God to give me something I truly loved to go along with the worst experience of my life.

A Thought
I know I'm not the only person to ever lose someone so close to me. I don't think there is really an 'appropriate' way to act or feel when it happens to you. I'm sure that things could have been done differently...(yes, it's me, the WAY over-analyzer) but we made it through. Yes, it's been 2 years now. I don't know when or if this pain will go away, but it is strong and steady still today. There's not a day that goes by in which I don't think about him. I will pick up my phone (in which his contact name & number remains...I can't delete it) sometimes and want to call and tell him something extraordinary, or pick his brain about a Biblical topic...I have to believe that somehow he still helps me out in whatever way a spirit can help us here...and I have to believe that he's in Christ's bosom, comforted.

I miss you every day Dad.
I know we'll see each other again on the other side!









2 comments:

  1. I lost my dad last week after a long battle with prostate cancer. It has been a difficult Christmas season but I am trying to make the best of it for my kids.

    I pray God brings you comfort and peace during this time and that He would be very present for you right now.

    Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the prayer. I've neglected my blog this month. I will pray for you as well. The pain seems to hang on, but it will improve as time goes on.

    ReplyDelete

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