Daily Prompt: Regrets, I’ve Had a Few
by michelle w. on September 6, 2013
What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?
For those who follow my writing regularly,
you will know that I loved my Dad dearly.
He was a huge presence in my life,
and died of Motor Neurone Disease in his early fifties.
I have written at length,
about my childhood with him,
and how to me he was the perfect Dad.
I have also written about his diagnosis,
and the effects his death continues to have on us,
even after twenty years.
But I have never once spoken of his death.
For this is in fact without hesitation,
the biggest regret in my life.
I was a young third year nurse,
the year my Dad was dying.
I was twenty one.
My Fathers dearest wish,
was to always remain at home.
I had promised him,
that we would do just that.
Even when he was very sick,
we mostly managed to care for him at home.
That final week of his life,
all the signs pointed to his body shutting down.
At work I carefully monitored such patients,
and would speak gently to their families,
trying to prepare them for the end.
I would ensure all family members were informed,
and would support them when they came to visit.
I would make sure,
that the patient was comfortable,
their every need cared for,
and that they were never alone,
but always surrounded by family.
It is a time when nurses are most valuable.
However at home I was not the nurse.
I was a daughter, a sister, a child.
I did not see a patient,
I only saw my Dad.
I did not see the very sick man,
with only days to live,
I saw my Dad who I could not imagine life without.
I did not see him sleeping more than usual,
only the moments he was awake.
So I did not alert my family,
or spend any longer in his company.
I did not see him slipping,
nor did I anticipate,
the sadness the end of the week would bring.
And worst of all on that Friday morning,
I did not stay at home.
Before I left early for work,
I did not creep into his room,
and hold him tight.
I did not lie beside him,
and hold his hand one last time.
And I never got to give him one last kiss.
That Friday morning,
I did not tell my brothers and sisters to come quickly,
as we had only hours left with our Dad.
And I did not tell my mum,
the love of his life,
his companion for over thirty years,
that soon he would be leaving her.
My Dad died at 9am,
my mom by his side.
His large family all somewhere else.
We never got to sit by his bed,
We never got a chance to collectively say “we love you”.
And worst of all,
we never got to say “Good bye”.
It will always be my biggest regret
Other posts featuring my Dad you might like.