Posted by: krpooler | November 19, 2010

Sometimes There is No Other Explanation


When the call came this week, I felt certain I would not arrive in time to see my Dad alive.

“You’d better get here” my brother Gary said on the phone.

“I’m on my way.” I said.

 Dad had fallen and lapsed into a coma the day before.  My four hour trip down Routes  88  and 17 was filled with prayers, waves of tears, thoughts of my Dad and all he meant to me; my Dad, my rock, my voice of reason, my port in the storm, my hero. Somewhere between Binghamton and Elmira, I started anticipating that he was already in the arms of the Lord. He was 88 years old and by his own admission had  lived a wonderful life. But contemplating life without him felt unbearable and surreal.

“Brace yourself.” Gary said as he greeted me at the ICU entrance.

I walked into the room to see Dad resting peacefully, like he was taking a nap in his recliner. My mother, sister and two brothers had been holding vigil in his room.

“He looks better than I thought” I said as I looked over at him . His thick white hair framed his baby soft ,pink face , so peaceful, so handsome. The attached monitor flashed textbook normal vital signs on the screen. A sense of order prevailed amidst the puzzle of his condition.

Why was he in this semi-comatose state while his heart, lungs and kidneys worked in harmony to keep his body and spirit alive?

We surrounded his bed like a flock of birds protecting their nests, telling him we loved him, stroking his hair, rubbing his arms and praying ,crying, saying our goodbyes , thanking him for being the wonderful husband and father he was  and giving him permission to let go. He knew we were there as he tried to open his eyes. Father Pat , a dear family friend, anointed him and lead us in prayer several times. Fr Lou stopped by for healing prayer.

This afternoon we saw his blue eyes again as he opened them and looked around.

We don’t know why he is still with us. The doctors can’t explain his stable vital signs  and his resilience in the face of severe heart failure and neurological compromise.

We do know he is not ready to leave us. Only God knows. For the time being we are basking in the glow of the presence of God in our lives and in the power of prayer.

Sometimes there is no other explanation.


  1. This hurts. I miss my dad. You’ve put me right back there, Sis. Good writing, sad memories. I wish you family love and peace.

    • Thanks so much Lynne. I appreciate your presence in my life

  2. This post has it all, suspense, drama, great writing and a happy ending. I especially like your phrases “A sense of order prevailed amidst the puzzle of his condition” and “We surrounded his bed like a flock of birds protecting their nests.”

    Blessings on all.

    • Thank you Sharon for stopping by and for your kind words. It is amazing how much solace I am feeling in the blessings of friends.

  3. Oh, Kathy, tears came to my eyes when I read your post — it’s been almost two years now since my dad passed and, like Lynne, it still hurts. A dad is so important in your life — he provides the stability and common sense we need to face life unafraid. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this, but I’m glad for your sakes that God hasn’t called him home yet. Draw strength from your family, lean on each other, and keep praying; God does indeed know what’s best! Peace be with you and yours, and know that your friends are praying, too!

    • Oh,Debbie, Your kind words are so consoling and your prayers so very appreciated. I feel my Dad is hanging on to give us all just a little more time to accept his leaving,thinking of his family first as always. Thanks for your support.

  4. Dearest Kathy,

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I am so glad you have your family around you at this critical time. My prayers are with you and your Dad! Hang in there. You will get through this.


    • Libbye, thanks so much for your friendship and kind words. It means the world to me. Although we were prepared, when the time comes, it is so hard. He is hanging on, I think so we can learn to accept his leaving. Thanks for your love and support across the miles

  5. Dear Kathy, I am so sorry to learn about your dad. I am sorry I could not even read your post earlier. Your dad has been hanging on because he loves you all so very much. Perhaps he wants to give sometime to you all to be prepared the unthinkable. My dad was my rock. I know what happened to me when that rock was gone. You will get through this and you, with your sister and brothers will give all the support to your mother. May God bless your father. I am praying for you all.

    • Smita, thanks for your healing words. I read your beautiful note to my sister and Mother and they too were consoled. We have been blessed to have such a wonderful husband and father and now we will gain strength from one another. We all feel he is hanging on to help us make the transition to the “unthinkable” as you say


  6. I am thinking of you Kathy, your family and all of you gathered around your father. Being together, being close is a beautiful way to send energy and spirit to your father.
    Linda Joy

    • Thanks for stopping by Linda Joy and for your kind words and support. He is on comfort care in a hospital room and we are able to surround his bed. We feel he is hovering over and is not quite ready to leave us. It is peaceful and beautiful. We know he feels our love. I appreciate your healing presence.

  7. Kathy-I’ve been in that room and while reading your post I could feel time stop. Isn’t it amzing how the world just goes on, so rudely, without paying proper respect to our crisis-du-jour? My thoughts are with you…

    • Yes, Dawn Marie, time has stopped. We all take our turns in this letting go process. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

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