Monday

Jack McAfghan: The Trilogy is now Available on Amazon Worldwide

"Reflections...Book 1. This is by far one of the Greatest Books I have ever Read, Touched my Heart and Soul, a True Masterpiece. The Whole Series, the books are truly inspiring....You were the Teacher I needed to find to open up the door that had been closed for so long..."  ~George K.

Wednesday

A Final Gift

I suppose I have another book to write one of these days -- after I finish the one after the one after the one I am writing now. I worked many years doing hospice counseling and I could tell you some stories about the final hours and moments of life. One in particular I am thinking about.

She was younger -- late 50's. Loving husband. Devoted teenage kids. She had been battling breast cancer for 15 years. She was determined to the win the battle, but she was losing. The day she decided to go on hospice was the day she decided she would take no more treatments. She was tired. She only wanted comfort care. 

As her social worker, it was one of my goals to help her to find the peace in that decision. She was terrified of dying. With the support of the hospice team, she was able to come to terms with it as the end of her life on earth loomed closer and closer. 

I didn't know it would be my last visit, but it was. I entered her bedroom and she was in bed, surrounded by a dozen people who loved her. She was slipping in and out of consciousness. At one point she had her eyes closed, but her expression looked as if she was listening to someone who was teaching her something she had never known before. She was obviously amazed. Her forehead would frown and then raise in wonder and amazement. Over and over again.   

Then all of a sudden she went quiet. We all looked intently at her. We watched for her breath to come. It did. She slowly opened her heavy eyes, looking around the perimeter of her bed at each and every face that was looking back at her. No one said a word. 

"I am loved and protected," she said earnestly, dreamily. "Don't worry about me. I am in safe hands." She closed her eyes and she was gone. 

Gone From Our Sight. 

Click here to view our "Gone From Your Sight" video 


Dad: Letting Go and Moving On Holding You Within my Heart

A year has passed since I was going to shut down Dad's page.  I couldn't do it. But I'm doing it tonight. But I still couldn't quite let go. I had to bring his story over to my blog. I am care manager but I am adult child too. Grief can be complex and it has taken me all of two years to finally let go.

This is the anniversary of what would be my Dad's 31 years of sobriety and what is the second anniversary of his passing I am going to close up this page. I don't know why it took me so long but after awhile it is just kind of strange to see his face here as if he were still an active and alive on Facebook and other places.

I still have his ashes and hopefully late next summer I will make a trip back to Wilson NY and scatter them near the old family cottage...the place where, as a family, we seemed to make the best memories.

I am writing from his old laptop right now. I remember trying in vain to get access to it. I simply could not find the passcode. Many months after his passing...I was ready to give up. I stopped, took a deep breath and asked for his help. A certain phrase came to me. For the heck of it, I put it into the password space and voila, I was in. Go figure.... One of those things that cannot quite be explained. I wrote him this little message and I will end his Facebook career with it.

God bless all of you who are reading this post. I love all of you who have loved him and I close this page tonight with love and gratitude that I had him in my life.

This was my final letter to him when I was trying to crack the code into his laptop....



Tuesday

Dad: Winding Down and Letting Go

Gone 11 months yesterday. Today is your birthday. You would have been 81. You never needed caregivers. You thought for yourself. You made your own decisions. You were never a burden to anyone at anytime. I have not posted here because life goes on and this page seemed to become my shrine to you. I want to start focusing on your life instead of your death. The last time I saw you, you said "I need to go back and visit Wilson one more time." That's how I know where I need to lay you to rest. This Fall I will drive back to NY and scatter your ashes at Sunset Island in Wilson...the place of our most happy young family memories. For anyone who might still be looking at your Facebook page, I will be closing it on August 1st.
Happy Birthday Dad. I miss you.


One of the clippings he had saved.
No wonder he liked it. He could have written it.


Dad: Sharing The Success

I'm not sure what is politically correct in AA, but I have a friend who is celebrating 20 years of sobriety and I want to give him my Dad's XX. Another friend celebrated her 30th and I gave her Dad's X+XI+IX = XXX, 30 years in total. I do hope he would be happy that I am sharing his success with others.

Dad: Facebook was our Friend That Day

My Dad's birthday was July 2. Last July brought his 80th and final birthday. I posted this post on his page. He wasn't much for Facebook.

People poo-poo Facebook, privacy and all that. They say it's overrated. But Facebook was a miracle for us. I connected with several of his "Friends" (and such good friends they are!). One of those friends, Bill K. became my Facebook friend and we exchanged a few messages.

On Aug 1, Bill called my Dad to congratulate him on Dad's 29th year of sobriety. My dog, Jack, had died that morning. At the end of the day Bill messaged me through Facebook to let me know he had been trying to reach Dad, to no avail. He asked me if everything was okay. Of course I didn't know -- I was consumed with grieving over the loss of my dog.

Dad and I usually talked at some point on the weekends. I called him at 9 a.m. Saturday and got his voicemail. Normally I would have left the voicemail for him and simply waited for him to get back to me. But after Bill's message I was more proactive. I called Dad again at 11. He did not call back. At noon I called the apartment manager who went to his apartment, found him, called the police and the police came to my house in Sedona at around 3 p.m. to report that Dad had died in his apartment.
Had I not heard from Bill K. that day, I would have simply left the voicemail message for Dad, assuming he was out shopping or at a meeting or something else. I may or may not have tried calling him again later that day or even Sunday. Another week might have gone by.

So Facebook is good for something and I have found the goodness in all of his loyal and loving Facebook friends. He is one person who knew each and every one. No one was a stranger to my Dad.