Dad was still awake, not seeming as agitated, but also not asleep. He was, however, in bed when the nurse came to check on him. She took his vitals and chatted with him. When she asked him what he needed, he said that he was hungry and sherbet sounded good. As soon as the nurse left we went to the freezer and found rainbow sherbet. Danny fed him 1 teaspoon full, that was all he wanted, and finally, after days of restlessness- he fell asleep.
Food was important to my dad, his love language. He often told me the story of my first time on a plane. He had taken me with him on a business trip when I was a toddler. The only thing I know about that trip was that I ate BBQ ribs, corn on the cob (my dad would laugh because he couldn’t believe how well I ate that corn with very few teeth!) and rainbow sherbet. Because my dad told me that story many times while growing up- I have never eaten BBQ ribs, corn on the cob or rainbow sherbet without thinking of him.
As the day progressed my dad slept…
- we kept mom company, doing puzzles and chatting
- sat at dad’s side
- Ellie, Kate, and Sophie made homemade rolls and soup and brought them to us (how great was that!?)
- Danny went home with the girls
- Dede came by for a visit in the evening
After Dede went home, mom got in comfortable clothes and settled into the recliner by dad’s hospital bed with a western movie. Once the time came for his evening dose, I said goodnight, made a bed on the couch and set the timer for 3 hours. The timer woke me up. Dad was still asleep. I gave him his medicine and went back to sleep. Just an hour or so later, my mom woke me up. “I think he’s gone.”
Now rainbow sherbet connects the three of us- Danny feeding my dad his last bite…and that his last bite was a treat that reminds me so much of all that my dad has given me in the world. The gifts from him aren’t visible to the eye. They are generosity, service, respect and love. October 15th will forever be a day we eat BBQ ribs (knowing that they won’t be as good as what we have had from his grill), corn on the cob and of course, rainbow sherbet wishing he was there enjoying it with us.