Saturday, 16 June 2012

Angels Among Us

The date was Thursday, May 20th, 2004, at 2:45 in the afternoon. I know there were angels among us. It had been almost 5 years since his diagnosis. My Dad lay dying in the hospital, with my Mom, my sister, my Aunt and I all with him, holding his hand. The sun was streaming through the window and although it was the saddest moment of my life, there was a calm and peaceful feeling that is difficult to describe.

The radio was softly playing Shania Twain’s “It Only Hurts When I Breath”. Dad’s breaths got slower and shallower and we knew the end was imminent. As he took his last breath, Shania sang her last verse. A strong wind suddenly blew through the window and papers flew around the room. As he exhaled for the last time, the wind stopped and there was complete silence, save for the gentle sound of “That’s What Friends Are For” playing on the radio. We prayed and cried. It was over. The long, painful battle with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia was over. Dad was in the arms of his Maker, no longer suffering. I know there were angels among us.

As we collected our things and said our last good-byes, Josh Groban sang “You Raise Me Up” on the radio. This song had become our family’s theme over the past couple of days. When Dad was admitted to Emergency, he lapsed into a coma. As he smiled at us for the last time before losing consciousness, the song was playing over the speakers. I know there were angels among us.

Over the next few days, we planned the most beautiful tribute to Dad. There were so many people at the Church. As the casket was brought in, Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are” played. My brother-in-law sang the song that had now become our theme song, “You Raise Me Up” so beautifully that I knew there were angels among us.

Dad’s battle was a long and hard one. He endured chemotherapy treatments that were so strong they should have killed him. He suffered through lumbar punches, hickman lines, poking, prodding, medications, infections, nerve damage, humiliation and mental anguish that none of us could ever comprehend. Knowing every day that he had a ticking bomb inside his blood that could explode any day must have been pure hell. He was too young to die…57 years old. And still, he never wavered. He was brave and strong and never complained. He never felt sorry for himself. He accepted his fate and when we asked him about it, he would always say, “Life deals the cards, we merely play the hand.” Throughout his long struggle, I knew there were angels among us.

My father’s battle and subsequent death were not in vain. He has touched so many people and changed so many lives that would otherwise not be touched. He has opened hearts and opened minds. He has helped people change the way they look at life. We all look at life very differently. We cherish each day. We tell each other how much we care. We choose our battles and let the unimportant things go. My father was the proverbial “sacrificial lamb” that let us know that there are angels among us.

When I think back and realize how many signs there were, I know there were angels among us. They give us strength through hard times and guide us through the most difficult paths in life. When my Dad died, my eyes were opened to see things I never saw before. If we only open our hearts and minds, we will see the little clues that we are not alone. I know there are angels among us. The songs that play during the times of trial and turbulence are signs…some will say that it is coincidence. I don’t. Open your heart to the angels among you. I know my Dad is one of the angels now, watching over my family every day, helping us with our daily struggles. Thank you Daddy for your love and guidance. I know you are here with me…wearing the biggest and most beautiful wings and soaring through the clouds in absolute perfection. I know that there are angels among us.

I love and miss you dearly Daddy.  Happy Father's Day.

**I have entered this post into a contest over at Mama M's Mr. Wonderfulest Contest and I would love it if you would please head over there and click "LIKE" on my's called Angels Among Us on Boy oh Boh oh Boy and I am the second entry (#2).   Thanks so much!**

**ETA. If I win, the $100 will be donated to the Princess Margaret Hospital foundation in his honour. This hospital was wonderful to my Dad and to us during his illness. ** Pin It


Karen said...

Your dad must be so proud of the beautiful loving woman his little girl has become. xo

Kate said...

You loved him well. He'd be so proud of you.


Angie Vinez said...

Your story moved me to tears. Loved reading it.

It's hard saying goodbye to your Daddy. It's been 14 years since my Dad passed away, and I miss him more every day.

Love you!

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