I’ve kept what’s been going on in my life private the last many days as my family and I navigate some of the most difficult parts of the human experience. I realize this is in no way unique. We all have to face it sooner or later. Today I decided that it would help me to share. We’ve been talking to one another for a long long time now, and perhaps if nothing else this will help you should you be going through something similar.
Some might recall that I went home to Western Washington at the end of last year to help care for my terminally ill father. Dad passed on January 5th. I was just here in June with my family as we remembered him with a celebration of life. At the time my mother was just a week removed from surgery resulting from a fall. Being the toughest person I know she was able to attend dad’s service and we were all so happy she could do so.
A few weeks back my sister called with terrible news. Mom was very sick. Her kidneys had failed. No dialysis was available to her in my hometown out on the Olympic Peninsula. It took a few days, but we managed to find her a bed at a hospital in Puyallup, not far from Tacoma. Tests were run and no answers were forthcoming. My mother, facing the prospect of living away from her assisted living apartment in a strange place, has decided to go into hospice care. That’s something no one wants to hear, but after three falls, and a broken leg from a car accident the past two years, my poor mommy is just worn out. The specialists were never able to find the cause. More invasive testing might have solved the mystery eventually, but at this point I guess we will never know.
The good news is we were able last Tuesday to get her well enough for a long ambulance ride back to Port Angeles so that she could pass here in her apartment. My sisters have been by her side constantly to care for her every need. They are true angels. My brother and I have been here in support, to run errands, cook meals, and do laundry. Whatever they need. And of course to hold mom’s hand as she takes her final steps down her life’s journey.
This has been a year of immense pain for my family. We are running on emotional fumes. All I am asking for with this post is that you send whatever positive energy you might be able to harness. I ain’t got much left in the tank right now and so I’m leaning on you.
Let me close by thanking the amazing staff at the radio station. I left already busy people with too much work. They are great people and I hope they know how much I appreciate their efforts. And of course I thank my beautiful wife and family back in Ohio for all their love and support. I am a very lucky man.
I love you all. Be good to one and other for me.
Written by: Brian Phillips
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