Friday, November 4, 2011 a friend of mine and I were in charge of a big holiday school auction. It was a big event and usually we’d raise over $10,000 for school programs. At the end of the night we’d load everything up and a lot of it would be dumped into my home. Dishes to be done, things to be delivered to people, things that didn’t sell that we needed to work through how to sell those things, etc. My house would be a big mess and I was exhausted.
Saturday, November 5th we worked on getting things cleaned up and had lots of other things going on.
Sunday, November 6th we went over to my parents for Sunday dinner. I was super tired and really in a more grumpy mood. We usually play Acquire, but I wasn’t in the mood and I still distinctly remember leaving my parents home not happy, no hugs and not really saying goodbye. My comment was I’ll play Acquire another week.
Monday, November 7th around 7:20 a.m. I got a call from my sister that lived at my parents home that my dad had a cardiac arrest and the paramedics couldn’t get him to breath and they had headed off to the hospital. I was in complete shock!!! I walked around my house getting ready to head over to the hospital saying perfect faith and praying with all my heart that he would make it through. I also found myself completely regretting that I didn’t stay and play Acquire with my dad and mom and brother. I kept saying please give me that one more time to play games with my dad.
I spent every single day at the hospital with my mom and many of my siblings and spouses and nieces and nephews just waiting, praying and hoping for something good to come for my dad. The doctor wasn’t optimistic. My dad had pretty much gone 45 minutes without oxygen and there was significant damage to his brain. They kept telling us that if he lived he’d always be a vegetable. It was the worst experience and feeling. I wanted my dad back sooooo bad.
Miracle upon miracle happened and November 30th my dad returned home walking himself into their house. He was a walking miracle. I would go over every single day and spend time with him. I remember my dad and I going to Deseret Book together and we had so much fun together. So many conversations and wonderful experiences together. I remember the first time we played Acquire again and it was emotional. It was the greatest blessing ever and I remember thinking I’m not going to have this regret again.
Over the years I’ve spent lots of time with my dad. We’ve gone to family activities, holidays, watched sports together, played games, vacations and the list goes on. My boys have had so many treasured conversations and time with their grandpa.
Over the last year or so with Covid and working through many of my personal experiences from my past there became more of a distance again with my family. We didn’t spend as much time together. Gratefully we’d still play Acquire and do some things together, but not nearly as often as before. I found myself enjoying more time at home and in my own space. I’ve been more reserved and more pulled back from things. I think Covid brought a lot of that in me.
July 16th Brayden and Sarah got engaged! This was a day that my dad had lived for a very long time. Every single time we’d see him he’d ask when they were going to get engaged. His excitement was childlike. I’d often tell my dad let them be - don’t put so much pressure on them. They got engaged and then they went over to my parents to tell them. They were so excited and my parents were so excited. The joy on my dad’s face was priceless. There was lots of laughter, visiting and excitement for their wedding day.
Besides that excitement my dad was asking me about some school pictures they couldn’t find. He was working on their 50th Anniversary and was wanting some things. I sat down and looked at some of my pictures from teenage years and that brought some anxiety and emotions for me. I was frustrated in a way. I didn’t want to focus on this - some of these memories were really hard memories for me. Very painful. I wanted to focus on the excitement of Brayden and Sarah. As we left I gave my parents hugs and said goodbye, but inside I was frustrated.
On Sunday, July 18th it normally would have been a Sunday we would go over to the Hardman’s, but they were out of town so we went over to my families for dinner. I had brought over what my dad wanted and we reflected on some fun memories and laughed. We played Acquire and had a great evening. We visited about his sadness of losing one of his best friends and that he was going to be speaking at his funeral and how hard that would be. I loved that evening, because it was all real. Many heartfelt feelings. It was a great night. A night I will never forget. NEVER!
I remember leaving my parents and my dad giving me a hug and saying, “I love you sweetheart” and feeling those words so deeply. I remember thinking I love my dad so much! I’m so grateful for the relationship we have. That would be the last time I heard my dad say those words to me.
"I remember leaving my parents and my dad giving me a hug and saying, “I love you sweetheart” and feeling those words so deeply. "
Rick and I and the boys had a vacation that next week and by the time we got back in town my dad, mom and sister were sick. There were suggestions of going over and putting notes on their bedroom window, calling dad and telling him to get up and move a little bit - his oxygen was really bad. Some did go over, but we didn’t, we were too busy.
Then my dad was in and out of the hospital once and then 4 days later he went back to the hospital and then a couple of days later he was gone. He hadn’t passed away, but was unconscious and not doing well. His organs were failing and we were losing him.
That was the worst feeling!!! I wished I had spent more time with him. I wished I would have, should have, could have. . .the thoughts were flooding my mind and so much regret. He lived less than 5 minutes away. Why had it been a month since I had seen him. I had lots of reasons, but it still hurt!!!
It’s taken me a few weeks to get past those feelings and to reflect on the amazing Sunday night and text exchanges that my dad and I had. I’m so grateful our last exchange wasn’t the night that he was excited about pictures and I wasn’t. I’m grateful that things came full circle and the last time I saw my dad I played Acquire with him. We shared family memories and had cherished time. I’m so grateful I felt of my dad’s love through his hug and words. I wish I could hear those words and feel of his hugs now, but for now I’ll have to cherish what I had and no regrets!
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity