Do Not Resuscitate
Good morning, before you read this blog, please understand it is long and maybe even morbid. If you still choose to read it, remember you were warned. I write often of my dad, my hero, the never quit, can do, will make it happen, smile big and love hard man I call dad. Today is no different. I spent most of the night thinking on, meditating on and writing this blog in my head.
When we found out dad had mesothelioma, we knew the outcome wasn’t good. Still we stood in faith believing. Expecting his healing to take place in his physical body. The Dr. told us the report and said he could stay at the hospital as long as he lived and that they would take care of him. He wanted to go home, so we took him home. Day 1, we get home and hospice sends out a young nurse. Nice enough I guess. Just doing their job, but we had just found out devastating news and we were not prepared for someone to walk in say hi, talk for about 5 minutes and say Mr. Woody, you need to fill out and sign this DNR. Wait! What? You have been here five minutes and you are asking us to tell you how to let dad die? I understand you need this, but give us a few days to digest this, get our thoughts together. Besides, we are expecting him to be healed. Needless to say, we politely (mostly) ask him to leave our home immediately. We called another hospice company in the area and they were a kinder in their responses.
For the next two months that paper laid on the tea cart, we walked by it every day, never picking it up, and never reading it. I remember seeing it as if it was yesterday, even though it has been over 14 years ago. His Meso (as we called it) got worse, and like so many of his brothers, sisters and father. He knew the end was near. Occasionally the nurse would ask on a visit, “Mr. Woody, have you had a chance to sign the DNR ye?” “Not yet” dad would say, maybe tomorrow. Ok, we should get it soon. We will dad responded. Then the day came, he was not doing good, I will spare you the details. We sat with him, and read it, although I am sure he had read it many times before when we were not looking. We all agreed, mom filled it out and Dad signed it. I remember the look on his face so clearly. He only spoke of it this once, but he made this statement. “I just signed my life away”. I had to leave for a while. I still hear his voice. The strength was gone now, and he had given in to death. He wasn’t gone yet, but in his mind he had just given up. And although he was closer to God than he had ever been in his life. And I can say without hesitation that his body was dying but his soul was healed. About 2 days later, he breathed his last. The fight was over, and while his body gave in to death, his soul soared higher than it ever had. He left this world in peace, knowing Jesus was caring him home to be with him forever.
My dad’s hope wasn’t in not signing the DNR, his last hope was in Jesus Christ. However signing that paper to him was letting go of his life. And he so dearly loved life. Time has not changed the hurt I saw in his eyes that day. A man who never gave up, defeated and giving in. Time has not changed missing him one ounce - Not one ounce. But time has taught me some things, as time so often does. I will close with those things. Death is appointed unto man. Unless Christ returns first, death will come for us all. That is a simple fact. The second thing time has taught me, is to never give up. NEVER. My dad may have felt like he gave up, but he didn’t. He gave in to God’s final call. Let me say that again, he did not give up, he gave in to God’s final call. Finally, time has taught me something so valuable that will probably offend some of my pentecostal friends, but I feel the need to share it.
Ecc. 9:11 … Time and chance happen to all… Pray big prayers, expect big things, but trust God above all else. PERIOD! I held my dad’s hand as he slipped into eternity. The strongest man I ever knew, who taught me more than a thousand teachers could have, and yet, he had a time to leave this earth. We all do. He was ready. Will you be? When it's not DNR, but it is time, will you be ready? Time and chance happen to all, and we all have an appointed time, please, I beg you, if you have anything between you and Father God, get it out of the way now, and make it right with Him - before its eternally too late.
With greatest love,