I know many of you have followed my journey with my father and his dementia through my blog posts. So I wanted to share with you that my father, Earl Worley, passed away yesterday of congestive heart failure. He was taken into emergency on January 31 and we were in the emergency room for ten hours. When we finally got a room, we were blessed to not have a room mate. God knew what He was doing because it was a long, hard night. My dad struggled with the spiritual desire to leave this earth and be with the Lord and his physical desire to stay on this earth. He truly fought the good fight. During the night there were moments of clarity where he said things that showed us the man he'd been before the dementia stole him. As we always knew, he was still there deep inside. My older sister, Mary, and I were given the gift of being able to help him through that struggle. He was never alone during that long night, one of us was always at his side holding his hand, rubbing his feet, quoting Scripture, talking about Mama, telling him it was okay to go. He would take the oxygen that was keeping him alive, then push it away in anger. Daddy was tough, a real fighter and he fought until the very end.
He seemed to rally when morning arrived and my sister and I decided it was going to be another long haul. So we divided the time with Mary taking days and me taking nights. I left about 9:30 am to go home and shower, change clothes, rest a bit, come back in the evening and spend the night. But at around 2:15 pm on Feb 1st, Daddy said "enough." Mary was with him when he died, holding his hand, telling him it was okay to leave. It took me twenty minutes to get back to the hospital, but the long day's journey had ended for my dad and he had walked into the Light. I believe with all my heart the first person he saw was Jesus and the second was my mom, whom he loved and missed for the last 19 years.
It was an honor to be able to share his last night on earth. I thank the Lord for that. He will have a military funeral because he was very proud of serving in the Navy. Godspeed and Happy Trails, Daddy. I will see you and Mama and both grandmas again someday. I want my first meal in heaven to be Grandma Webb's peach cobbler and Grandma Worley's fudge.
Thanks to all of you who have read my blogs, supported me, prayed for me and encouraged me.