HOW OUR BLOG BEGAN, in AUGUST 2010: As many of you know, Phil has been struggling with a very complex series of neurological issues for about 5 years. This past spring, the issues became especially intense as a result of an unexpected cognitive decline and a fall on May 15th that resulted in a head injury and further decline. And then, on July 16th things catapulted to unbelievable, as Phil suffered from a severe "electrical storm" in his brain that essentially created a status of brain death for two full days. Inexplicably, the very morning that neurologists and other medical team members were planning removal of life support, Phil began breathing on his own and his brain waves returned to a stable, while still abnormal, level. Since then, each day has been a unique journey. And while he and his body continue to demonstrate a will and capacity to live, he continues to have severe deficits and it is quite uncertain as to the path he will take. As loved ones close in can attest to, it has been tricky to keep up emotionally with all of his changes, and provide the needed support. We can only imagine the hard work Phil has gone through as his brain has taken him through such roller coaster experiences. It is our goal here to keep family and close friends apprised of Phil's ongoing story, and to build connections that honor him.

AND THEN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010....Dad's remarkable journey alongside us culminated in a gentle, generous death.

And so, my goal here now as his daughter is simply this: to record snippets...pieces of his life that my memory offers back to me, pieces of myself as I learn to live without a dad. I hope all who meander by find life, and hope, and peace.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

what a great place this is

wow!!  what a great place this is.

over the past weeks, i have been collecting multiple ways to stay "tapped in" to dad and the amazing process of living within his life and death story. 

* Grief Share (a church-run support group that friend jen introduced me to.  which, by the way is very cool in that it is in the back office of a church run coffee house.  never knew that coffee houses had back offices complete with sofas, dvd players, and tissues for tears.  as if coffee houses needed another reason to be cool!)

* Books (still loving the two i found during my quiet days right after dad's passing: Awakening from Grief, by john welshons and A Beautiful Death, by cheryl eckl.  And have spent a few moments in sister cheryl's all-time fav, Heaven, by randy alcorn)

* Tim (turns out, he's got sadness issues of his own to muscle his way through, as a result of his love and care for dad during his final days)

* Dinner Dates with dear friends (whether half the night is all about dad, or i receive just the briefest moment of dad-specific care as a friend imagines my months of just can't beat surrounding yourself with people you love who made tough choices to walk through loss alongside you)

* Mom and Me, at our new ESL -- that's English-as-a-Second-Language -- class at her community church (ok, dad, this one's not directly about you....but i miss working with mom to tackle your story.  so, in your absence, here's something that i just know you would have been so supportive of.  you always got excited when you thought of things that mom would be so good at doing.  which was always held her in such high esteem!  as a young kid, about 5 or 6 it seems, i actually felt sorry for you -- i had this sinking feeling you just weren't the sharpest tool in the shed.  we can say this one's got YOU written all over it, were always contrasting mom's brilliance with your own, well, not-so-shiny skill sets.  it was spelling, and english, i think, that did you in.  course within about 7 or 8 years i began to see all that flying of the planes, and all those shimmery buttons on your mess dress uniform, as evidence to the contrary.  what a clever way to help your kids admire their mother!! and -- outside of your design -- in time, it helped your kids come to admire their father, too.)

Tonight, I find myself back here. 
Here, at the place where i went each night to clear my heart in preparation for what lay ahead when i awoke again to a new dad day.  the past several weeks, i've not come to visit.  i guess my heart was spinning in other directions and it didn't seem right to bring it back to relive the details of dad's passing.  but tonight, i come to check just one small thing and before i know it, i'm back.  not fully immersed, but fully partially immersed.  it's September 11th, and September 17th, and the 5 posts in between, that fully partially capture me.  i don't need to relive my sensations (i'm not that very far removed yet) and i don't need to comb the place for new insights (i'm still stumbling over the ones that are already staring me down).  even after hanging out here for an hour or so, i guess i still don't think i need to be here tonight.  But....i must say...MAN IS IT NICE TO BE HERE AGAIN!!! 

i'm kinda surprised:  i'm not reliving the pain, i'm reliving the love.  maybe someday i'll take the time to get back into the heartache etched in all my many words.  but tonight...what amazes me is the love. 

wow.  i remember again why those impossible days weren't unliveable.  the connections made here were powerful.  sustaining.  God's love passed through His people's online presence.  karli, jen, gail, cheryl, D, jb, beth, and so so so  many other good kind souls.  107 comments all told.  pretty wild-cool.

ahhh, i love how God, how He lets life advance, and new things take hold.  new, big things that touch us all...squishy-techy things like blogs and facebook love.  and new, medium-sized things that touch a few.  like gifted authors, and coffee house secret spots, and ESL.  and new, small things -- big things -- that touch just me. 


  1. the coffee shop sounds cool. :-)

  2. Karli D, they have live music on the weekends, we oughta go sometime! xox k.

  3. Dear Kati,
    Your blog is wonderful, honest, open. I love your statement of reliving the love. That is certainly my experience. Of course, the pain comes up sometimes--just another piece of resolution. But it's the love that prevails. I am so grateful that my book is helping you in your journey.All the best to you. Cheryl