God’s Mercies are New Every Morning

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Today is the first day without my Dad.

He passed away yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 14th March, 2012. He was 94 years old. He would have turned 95 in 29 days time – on the 12th April.

He had a fall on Friday 9th March 2012, and cracked his right hip. I didn’t find out about this until 9am Saturday morning when Lou came over to our house to let me and my husband Deane know that he had been admitted to the Hervey Bay Surgical Ward sometime on Friday evening/night. I immediately phoned my son Mark and the four of us went to the hospital to visit him. That was the last “normal” day we got to really spend with him. He was obviously in pain, but he was able to talk to us, hold our hands, and look at us properly. He was still pretty much the same Dad and Grandad.

He had a chest infection tho, which the doctors thought may have even caused him to fall, and so they were giving him antibiotics to try to clear that up.

The orthopedic surgeon and the anaesthetist had been considering surgery to put pins in his hip in order to lessen the stress that the fracture was causing to his body, but with the chest infection not clearing up, it was a will they/won’t they guessing game for a few days.

Unfortunately, the stress of the fracture was taking it’s toll on his body, and it became obvious from Sunday afternoon that his body was failing and that he probably would not recover from it. I couldnt’ believe how different he looked from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. Massive, massive change. He could no longer talk to us, he could barely squeeze our hands, he was deteriorating before our eyes.

I had the prayers of many friends going to God’s ears on Dad’s behalf, and Dad hung on night after night. The Doctors were actually amazed each morning that they did their rounds to find that he was still with us.

I spoke to the family on Monday, and told them that I thought surgery might be an option for two reasons. a) There was a chance that he may come through it, (I was trying hard to believe that he was going to survive this ordeal altogether), and b), but if he didn’t, then his passing would be easier. Man, the things you think when you are faced with such an impossible situation…

When Lou and I visited him on Tuesday morning, he was sleeping and he looked so peaceful and pain free that we knew immediately that we could not put him through the trauma of surgery.

The anaesthetist, a gorgeous young woman, came to see us while we were there with Dad, and she went through everything with us. Dad was now suffering renal failure (failure of the kidneys), as well as respitory failure. Surgery would not be an option. His body was working extremely hard just to take his next breath. The anaesthetist said that if there were any other family members who wanted to see him, then they should do it as soon as possible.

I went outside and phoned Chrissie. She drove up from Brisbane that night and we – Lou, Chrissie and I – all went to visit Dad on Wednesday morning. We talked to him, held his hands and got carried away with our usual silly, chatty behaviour amongst ourselves. After a little while we went to the cafeteria to have lunch. On our arrival back at Dad’s room, we saw that he had passed. He was still warm and when the nurse who had been caring for him came in a little later she said that she had been in to see him 15 minutes before we arrived back, and he was still with us.

I truly believe that he waited until his whole family had come to see him before he knew it was time to go.

I will be ever grateful and thankful for my Dad.

I will be ever grateful for Lou taking care of both him and Mum.

I will be ever grateful for the love and support of my husband Deane, and for the love of my family.

I will be ever grateful for the prayers offered for our family by so many.

I will be forever grateful to the hospital and paliative care team who looked after him in his final days.

And I will be ever grateful for Chrissie coming to see him that one last time.

Today is a new day. My first day without my Dad.

Rest in peace my Daddy. I loved you.

Herbert Charles Bryant

12/04/1917 – 14/13/2012