It is with such great sadness that I (Caroline) am writing to tell our loyal blog followers that my dad died today at 2:15am. My mom was with him, laying by his side in the all-too-familiar hospital bed, as he took his last breath. He went out the way he wanted to - in peace, pain free and with as little machines running as possible. All four of us kids - Anna, Caroline, Sam & Grace - were together driving across Kansas to try and get back to say goodbye. But Dad went out on his own terms - he didn't want us to see him suffering. Mom asked us to pull over and gave us the incredibly tough news to hear. She was so sensitive, honest and poetic in re-living our dad's last moments. The fact that the four of us were together made the moment something that I'll never forget and brought us closer than I ever imagined possible. I will not hide the fact that I am heartbroken, feel completely empty and am struggling with losing my dad at the young age of 24 but he knows how much we all adored and truly idolized him as both a father and a person. He really was like no other. He raised four amazing children (if I do say so myself...) and he will now live on within us. Plus through his son-in-law Adam and beloved granddaughters Claire Renee & Stella Jean.
Mom has been our rock and a saint throughout this entire 2+ year ordeal. She has never wavered in her care for him and always made him the #1 priority, even when he wasn't being the most pleasant person to be around. She draws strength from us but we lean on her even more. I have never been more in awe of someone - she is our guide through life. Words cannot express the love I feel for her. I know my siblings fully agree.
Our Aunt Jane and Mom's cousin Amy Jo were with her through it all yesterday. We are forever grateful she had them both there. And his nurse, Wendy, even kissed Dad's head and cried while sharing in the grief of it all.
I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and support for our family. It has been quite a journey that feels strange to end this way, but I'm beyond relieved to know that Dad no longer has to deal with the never-ending flow of medication, hospital visits and the unknown of tomorrow.
We will keep you posted on service information. Love to you all.