Friday, July 5, 2013

For everything there is a season...saying goodbye to Dad

Last Sunday I got up at 6am and was out on Tybee beach by 6:45!  I loved it so much I plan to go again this weekend.  With the summer heat and evening thunderstorms, the early morning hours are the perfect time to walk.  I actually walked for three hours, but then, I had a lot weighing on my heart that I needed to "walk off."

My father, Alvin Christian, died on May 21st from numerous complications following heart surgery.  His quintuple by-pass was on April 24th.  He was diagnosed in January with pulmonary fibrosis, which led to a diagnosis of thirteen heart blockages.  Hard to believe in a man who was never overweight, always physically active, and ate pretty healthily.  His surgery lasted for about 10 hours.  He had many complications after surgery, starting with pneumonia and breathing problems.  At times he could communicate, but at the very end he was comatose.  After consulting with his doctors, we decided to take him off life support with the help of the palliative care team.  I know this is what Dad wanted.  He fought hard to recover, but his body was just worn out, and he knew it was time for his soul to move on.  He will remain forever in my mind the most courageous and most generous man I know.  He walked into the surgery center dressed in freshly ironed khaki pants and a blue button down shirt, as if he didn't have a care in the world.  My Dad knew SOMETHING about how to do almost EVERYTHING.  In retirement and even prior to retirement, he worked constantly to help family, church family, neighbors and friends.  He loved to tend his garden and work in his shop on woodworking and refinishing projects.  Here is a picture of Dad one December with his "giant" turnips.  He could grow everything bigger and better!