Tuesday, December 21, 2010

RIP Dear Dean I love you!

I have had so many unbelievable, life-changing miracles in my life that I am losing count. Because of these miracles, my faith is very strong. However, like Melody Ross mentioned in her recent blog post, sometimes you don't even realize you may have experienced a miracle until you take time to analyze the situation.

My most recent miracle came last week when my stepfather passed away unexpectedly. My mom and Dean have been together for more than 25 years and live in Northern California. He had surgery on Monday for a blocked artery in his pelvic area. He did fine in the surgery but afterwards, his blood pressure was low and his heart beat was irregular. Then the next day, his kidneys failed and his other organs began to shut down. Doctors did not know why other than to say he was a very sick man. On Wednesday morning he passed away with my mother and his son at his side.

He was a wonderful, sweet, gentle, very intelligent, lovely man who had been taking great care of my mother for many years, but most especially in recent years after the physical problems she has endured. The amount of care that he gave her was unmatched by anything I had ever witnessed. His unexpected death has left us reeling and unsure of the future for my mom.

The night before his surgery, I asked my mom to tell him that I love him and that I wished him good luck on his surgery. I told her that I didn’t want to make him come to the phone. She said, “I think you should speak to him.” (Maybe it was her unconscious premonition!)

I did speak to him and we talked for about 20 minutes and then we both said, “I love you.” That was the last thing my step dad and I said to each other. What a blessing for me…a gift from God.

As I thought about this, I realized that I have had three fathers in my life that I truly loved. Strangely, I received miracles at each of their deaths.

My previous stepfather who my mom was married to for more than 25 years was diagnosed with renal cancer and given six months to live. The day after receiving this information, I was in a major car accident. It was truly a miracle in itself that I lived. I was physically very broken and went through more than a year of operations and recovery. Because of this, I was not able to work.

During the last six months of my step dad’s life, I was able to spend a lot of time with him…time that I would not have had if I had been working. I was at his side when he took his last breath. I was positive of his love for me and mine for him. I had no guilt when he passed. I only had faith.

I know it may see odd that I would think of a car accident that I still, to this day, physically suffer from, as a miracle in my life. But it’s the only explanation I have for the love that I was able to share with my step dad in his last days. To be able to kiss him and tell him, “I love you” right before he passed was such a gift to me…one that I will always appreciate.

My biological father died when I was in my 30’s. My mother had been married to him for ten years and my stepmother was married to him a year after the divorce until he died. I hadn’t seen him for about a year. Out of the blue, my step mom called me because she was worried about him. I went over to see him and he was sitting in a chair. I could tell he was sick and maybe not sure of who I was…I thought. I went to him and held his face in my hands and kissed him on the cheek and said, “I love you daddy.” He said, “I love you too Kat.” Three days later, he died in his sleep. Oh my Heaven, that was such a gift from God. I didn’t even know he was sick and I hadn’t seen him in so long…because of a disagreement and pride. As soon as my step mom called me and told me he had passed I knew what God had done for me and for him.

My father had been an attorney in San Diego for more than forty years. Several weeks after his passing, my family was having a life celebration for him. I happened to be in court on that day on a financial situation. I had my four-year old daughter with me because we were going to go to grandpa’s funeral after we took care of the court business. It started to get late and I wasn’t being called. I went over to my lawyer and explained who my dad was and what the situation was and that I might need to leave. He knew my dad and was stunned that he had passed away. He spoke to the judge. The next thing I knew it was my turn before the judge. Turns out he knew my dad also. As my little girl and I stood hand in hand before him, he literally gave my dad a eulogy right there in the court room. Other lawyers and clerks had come into the courtroom and were standing along the wall beside and behind the bench. Some were crying. The judge discussed my dad for about ten minutes. He talked about my dad’s expert contribution to law and how respected he was and much he had actually taught the court. The judge honored my father in a way that I would have missed all together had I not been in the right place at the right time. No one wants to be in court, but if I hadn't been there, and if I hadn't been there on that day, I would not have received that unbelievable moment in my life that meant more to me than I can ever express. A miracle for me! I was in shock. I floated out of that court room in God’s arms.

While I have lost all three of my father figures and while our relationships were not always blissful, I am happy to have had them in my life and I am blessed to have loved them and to have been loved by them. And I thank God for His unwavering guidance.

Thanks to Melody for inspiring to write this article about my own life experience and to take the time to realize the miracle.


Alicia Gelaro said...

What an inspiring and thought provoking post. When you think about it, "post" also means "after". It fits that you talked in your post about the miracles you felt after you lost these important men.

Just call me Silly Sal said...

thank you for sharing all that Kat. I had no idea that your mom's husband passed away. I kind of felt like I knew him from the times you have talked about your mom and he. Now I"m worried about your mom and what will happen with her and the neighbor she faces up there. Give me a call if you want to talk.

HeArt Collective said...

Kat~ I am a fellow student of Suzi's and I just happened in here. I read a few of your posts and now I'm sitting here with teary eyes after reading this post.

I guess its mainly because I can relate to that idea of recognizing miracles after we've had time to digest all that happens around them. And because they often are surrounding us when we have our biggest losses.


danette said...

What a beautiful and awesome post. Thanks you my dear sweet friend for sharing. It has touched me more than you can possibly know. You are truely one of GODs special people and I am blessed to know you.