because a few of you have asked how Kendell's dad is doing:
After that Thursday morning last week, when Kendell rushed out to help, Kent didn't improve. They were able to have hospice come in to help him be as comfortable as possible (hospice workers, I am convinced, are angels among us), but he didn't want any heroic measures.
He passed away last night at about 8:30.
Is it odd that as this has happened, I have been able to see the blessings within the heartache? I am so grateful that he was able to stay home and to leave from home. Each of the family members was able to see him and to say goodbye, even though he couldn't respond much. He was surrounded by his family when he passed. He didn't have to linger long in pain.
On Saturday, I joined Kendell at his parents' house, where family members were coming and going. There was finally a quiet moment where Haley and I could sit with him and say goodbye. He wasn't responding much by then, but I held his hand anyway, and Haley and I talked about all kinds of things. We were blessed with a moment—perhaps 15 or 20 seconds—when Kent looked right at me, and made a sound that Haley swore was laughter, and we said our goodbyes. That moment is one I am so grateful for. You never get the chance to say everything you need to, or perhaps I just don't take the chance often enough. But I think he knew at that moment that he was loved and appreciated, and things would be OK.
When I woke this morning (with an 8-Advil headache), it was with a thought in my head that keeps repeating itself: people die. Hardly earth-shattering news and yet it is hitting me in a way it hasn't before. How strange is it: we leave. We come, and we live for awhile, and then we leave. We are frail and fragile, open to mutations and diseases and accidents, and yet we are strong, too. We get to endure through the people who stay and remember us; we linger because of memory. People die. One day it will be my turn, and a last blessing of Kent's passing is this feeling in me: get up. Do better. Experience more. Stop wasting time. Live.