Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Meeting Lazarus

The Gospel of John,  chapter 11

    On Sunday March 27, 2010 my Father died, or as close to death as someone can be without being dead.  He has been my Father for 20 years now, since January 5, 1990.  He has been my Father since I knelt with my wife at a sacred alter and made a covenant with our God.  We raised our babies together.  Dad raised  children from two of his daughters, and I adopted two of his grandchildren.  Many people may see our family as odd but with love we raised the children together.  He always treated me as his son and I knew he was my Father.  I never once felt like his daughters husband. 

    It was about 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning when Mom called.  Mom mentioned to my wife on the phone that Dad was up wandering around their bedroom and he had thrown up on the floor.  Dad has not been in the best physical and mental health the last couple of years.  My wife suspected that he as some form of dementia.  He was sleeping soundly cross ways at the foot his bed.  He appeared to be sleeping off the flu.  He breath was a little labored but not abnormal for someone with emphysema.  I mentioned several times to my wife and Mom that Dad sounded funny but they reassured me that his breathing was normal.  Mom ask me if I would stop by and check on Dad after church.  We go to church from 9:00 am to 12:00 P.M. and Mom goes from 11:00 am to 2:00 P.M.  After church was out I walked to my car in the parking lot.  Dad's teenage son came walking across the park to the church.  I ask him how Dad was feeling.  He reassured me that Dad was still sleeping in his room.  I almost went home at this time.  I decided to do as Mom ask and check on Dad before I went home. 

    When I arrived at their home, I went in the back door through the kitchen as I normally do.  Dad was asleep with  his feet hanging over the bed.  His arms and legs and head were a deep purple.  His breathing was slow and he made a gurgling sound as he exhaled.  I knew something was not right.  I went to the church to get one of our friends who was an E.M.T. to check on Dad.  When I brought him back to the house the E.M.T. knew something was wrong.  He started medical intervention to help Dad with his breathing.  He showed me how he would lift his his jaw to clear his airway, while he called an ambulance.  I called my wife and ask her to go get Mom at the church and bring her home.  Dad was transported to the local hospital where he was life flighted out to a hospital with a better ICU unit.  I was certain at this point that Dad must have suffered permanent brain damage.

    My wife and I followed later in the our family Van.  We met with his doctor and his prognosis did not seam good.  When we finally visited him in ICU his color was restored and he was sleeping with a ventilator.

    The family prepared for the worst.  We were certain that he was not going to return from this and if he did he would not be the Father we remembered.

    I spoke with a friend of ours who was a nurse and he promised to send me an email with several questions to ask the doctor at our next visit.

    A couple of days later, we visited with the second ICU doctor who was on rotation that day, he refused to remove the ventilator as was Dad's wish.  Years ago Dad had filled out a Living Will with a D.N.R. (do not resuscitate).  We obtained a "Idaho Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (POST)" directing that Dad not be placed back on a ventilator and being given normal oxygen and pain treatments. 

    On Friday I felt that I needed to visit with Dad again on Sunday.  This weekend was Fast Sunday so I thought that I would fast to see what I should to help Dad.  I wanted to give him a blessing.  I considered a blessing of comfort or release.  I never considered a blessing for healing.  I was certain that Dad was brain dead.  I felt  no guidance on what my next actions should be.  I ask our friend who was nurse to join my fast with me.

    On Sunday we took the children to visit Dad one last time.  We warned them that he would not be like they had seen him the last time.   We were right and we were wrong.  When we arrived at his hospital room Dad was lying in bed laughing and joking.  We were not certain, if at first if he recognized the children.  Dad was in a better mental state then we had seen him in years.  If any man could be said to have risen from that dead, Dad had.

    I am still uncertain what happened.  I witnessed a man that appeared to be all but dead one week ago.  The E.M.T.. confirmed that seldom have they seen men return from the state Dad was in .  I am grateful but left a little puzzled.

    What the next chapter in life Dad has in store I am left wondering.  God must really have something special planned for Dad.

 I was so rapped up in the world of my reality, 
that I forgot the God of possibilities.  
I forgot to listen to the doctors prognosis 
that Dad was indeed getting better.

For the Story of Lazarus see;