The last time he opened his eyes
About a month ago my dad passed away. At the age of 63 (im 23). My dad struggled with leukemia for 5+ years. He has his kidney, bladder removed and years of chemo treatment. It was hard to watch him struggle with this. He was always a fun loving and great man.
Up to his last month alive, I didn't get to see him much. I tried to stay away because seeing him like that was difficult. If I could go back I would spend every second with him. On Jan. 29th I received a call from my mother that my dad was bleeding in the bed. I rushed over to see my dad curled up in a ball. He had lost over 50lbs and wasn't recognizable. He could barely sit up. I got him dressed and we got to ICU. When we got their he was bleeding out of his nose. I left to go to work. I received a call 2 hours later that he was being transferred to ma** clinic in Rochester, mn by helicopter. I then rushed to the ma** clinic. To see my father slightly talking and in the frame of half his normal size. On New Year's Eve I visited with him. I remember saying goodbye and giving him a hug and looking at him as I walked out the door. He looked absolutely terrified. That night he took a turn for the worst. He began to start bleeding to an extreme amount. They had to put a breathing tube down his throat. When I returned the next day I remember walking in his room and just seeing blood everywhere. It was one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen. He was sedated. The doctors rounded up my mom, my half brother and me to talk privately. The doctor explained that he had a rare fungi infection in his blood, along with e coli bacteria, and multi organ failure. He said that my father is a sick as you can get. He explained that he has a 20% survival rate in his current state. I remember the small room we were in just shrinking down on me. I have never felt so claustrophobic in my life. I thought about how I never got to say I loved him. I never got to talk to him. The next 3 days were a battle of emotions. Ranging from if we should continue his struggle, to will I ever get to talk to him again.
The days passed and the doctors explained that his bleeding was everywhere and his infection was not responding to treatment. At that point we decided to remove everything except breathing tube. We shared stories of him while we sat around his bed. Withing two hours he began to struggle. I grabbed his hand and he squeezed it back. He opened his eyes one last time and looked me in the eyes. I could see and feel his pain. But I knew he was free and at last I was as well. That was the realist moment of my life. The mourning process has been difficult. I feel like I was selfish and not the best son. I just remember going through everything and being soooo damn proud of everything he's accomplished. He worked his whole life for me and my mom. He sacrificed for a better life for us. I will think about him all the time and use his imprint as motivation in my life. He pushed me to what I am today. I'm glad he got to see me graduate college. I know he was proud.