Thursday, June 5, 2014
There I was wrestling with the idea of spending the evening at my parents’ home. My mother was alone in the house while my father was in the nursing home. She was spending all of her waking hours attending to him. I had the idea of spending the night with her; however, I wanted to stay in my home and enjoy my activities. It was late at night when I graced her porch with my presence. The sofa soon comforted my sleepiness.
Friday, June 6, 2014
After a nice breakfast with my mother, I headed into work to wrap up all affairs prior to going on vacation. Why I even joined a friend for breakfast part II at IHOP. I told her how I wanted to get some friends to go to the nursing home to perform with me for my dad. Soon after this conversation, my mother called to inform me that my father was unresponsive and was being rushed to Jackson South which was next door to the nursing home. I had just left her home and now faced the task of getting back to the same area with traffic. As I entered the room where a team was scurrying, there were tubes inside of him and his eyes were closed. I hated to see how he just hung there being as if he were being tossed about but it was my intent to stay right there and watch.
When I was born, I was taken from my mother due to placenta previa. My father had to wait and watch helplessly as my life was in limbo. Insurance companies refused to insure me, and I was not expected to live. He said that my godmother continued to tell him not to lose hope because God would pull me through; that scene took place 37yrs ago. It was with this in mind that I sat there and watched no matter the circumstances.
Family friends soon pulled me away as it was determined that Daddy had suffered a massive stroke and would have to be sent to Baptist where a team was awaiting his arrival. I got in my car and drove. While we waited in a suite, groups of the church sister hood flocked in to surround my mother as they have from the day Daddy went under. The doctor informed us that the stroke did not take place that morning but approximately 9hrs ago based on the damage that he saw and there had been more than one. It was the same way that his father passed away. Daddy would be removed from life support 24hrs after being placed on it in accordance with his wishes. We waited. We prayed.
Saturday, June 6, 2014
I thought that my Daddy would die on this day. For me, he had already left us something Thursday evening. It was now left to the body to realize what had happened. Others left the room when the respiratory therapist finally arrived to remove the tubes. I shook her hand and thanked her for removing the very things that my father never wanted. I made myself comfortable next to a nurse friend of the family, as the therapist did what she had to do. The noises were not pleasant for me, but I would not leave. Daddy never left me.
It was another four days of painful limbo for everyone involved in the transition of my father. During this time, the overwhelming support of the sisterhood that envelopes my mother to this day stood by within reach. It brings tears to my eyes to watch these women support my mother as she mourned the loss of my father.
Daddy was officially pronounced early Wednesday morning. It was a great relief for me to know that he had finally expired. In the days that followed, I found great comfort in planning the music for the funeral and its associated events. The outpouring of love & support was wonderful. There were so many wonderful connections for me to celebrate and enjoy. People told me that watching me gave them a sense of comfort as they wondered how I was able to remain so composed. This is my response.
My father is not dead. The word dead insinuates a final period which simply does not exist for me. He has made his transition into the next lifetime where he gets to be with God and walk with his father; he loved that man more than life itself. While I am unable to speak to him physically, Daddy has never left my side. His body may be in the ground but his spirit is free. It brings me such happiness to know that now there are two strong male figures that support me as ancestors. Instead of being sad, I choose to celebrate his life and often speak of him as if he were right here with me because he is. He lived a long wonderful life and touched more people than what we knew as evidenced by the tributes and sacrifices that were made to be present as he transitioned.
As life continues to take its course, things will slowly resume to a normal pace. A life cycle has completed itself as another one will begin. It is a beautiful day. It is a beautiful life.
James W. Sawyer
Sunrise: 12/22/34 Sunset: 6/11/14
Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things.
I will put you in charge of many things.