Today’s UP CLOSE guest post comes from Sunny Smart. Sunny is a stay-at-home mom with two part-time jobs, four full-time kids, and one fantastic husband. Those stats aren’t likely to change anytime soon. She loves to bake but hates to cook, loves cleanliness but dreads cleaning, wants to be a vegetarian but really loves steak, and thinks laughter makes the world go round. Most days she can be found consuming large amounts of caffeine, baking bread, and laughing with friends. She feels honored that Segullah is sharing her story.
I was fifteen when my father passed away. The doctors had told us three months previous we must make him comfortable and wait for the inevitable. It would be painful, we were told, but there would be plenty of drugs.
I remember the smell. Each day after school I checked on my father, emptied his urine and colostomy bags, swabbed his mouth with a wet sponge so he could swallow, checked his IV’s, moved his arms and legs to slow the painful atrophy. I remember when the black spots started appearing on his feet.
“He’s rotting,” our neighbor, a nurse, told me as I stood staring at his swollen, speckled feet. “His body is already dying and starting to decompose.” These may seem like harsh words to say to a young girl standing at the bed of her dying father, but I found them strangely comforting. Almost as if the moment I was dreading most would come in small increments and I wouldn’t be faced with losing him all at once.