My father passed away this morning at the age of ninety-five.
My mother and I, after spending time in his ICU room last night, found ourselves wrestling with removing his breathing tube. Fighting pneumonia, his lungs were being bombarded with oxygen and antibiotics. It would be difficult to say he was conscious throughout his last hours.
Nobody wants to be the one to have to make such a decision. I'd had to be that person for my brother, authorizing his morphine drip several days before he died in 1997. The idea of having to do that again, despite knowing that it would alleviate my father's discomfort, was not anything I wanted to do. Mother wanted to believe that Dad would recuperate and come home, but even she was beginning to accept what seemed inevitable.
But, true to form, my father made the decision for us.
Thank you, Daddy.