Dad is out of the hospital and back home. He is now officially in hospice with extreme efforts removed and all the family around him and my mom. My kids are with him 24-hours a day. As soon as my talks are done here in Anacortes Washington Janet and I are rushing home Sunday.
For those praying his name is Charles Robert Ray. My mom is Frances Ray.
The doctor said to give him food and water as he is able to receive them, but we are all aware he is slipping fast. Our job is now to keep him comfortable and loved until the angels take him home. Dad is ready to go. (It is far easier for me to write about this than to talk about it.)
I have no regrets. I’ve loved him and been a son who honors his father and dad has done nothing but loved us and been a fantastic example of a father, a provider and a Christian.
I remember that Ford Motor Company regularly offered my dad promotions. He always asked, “Will I need to work more hours?” They replied, “Of course.” My dad responded, “I am sorry to decline but I have three boys at home and they need me more than Ford Motor Company does.”
He spent his evenings reading us stories. After we went to bed he recorded stories on a reel-to-reel tape recorder for us to listen to while he was at work. Weekends were for the boys, me and my brothers, to help us ride the pony, to work in the garden, to read us stories, to BE with us. I knew this day would arrive and I will grieve when he is gone. I believe in the resurrection and eternal life with every fiber of my being, but that won’t stop me from missing the man who was always my best friend, the man who brought me into existence and taught me to be a man.
The loving arms of the Catholic Church are so uniting and reassuring at the end of life. I wish my dad and family could be experiencing that right now but unhappily it isn’t the case. But my dad loved nothing more in his life than Jesus Christ and I am confident of his destination.