These past couple of years have held a lot of joy, but maybe even more tears.
A year and a half ago, my dad had a small accident which left him with a broken leg. This unfortunately led to pneumonia, which left him on life support. My siblings and I had to band together to save his life, as his wife tried to take him off of life support. The doctor's believed there was still hope for his recovery, and we fought for that!
His wife gave him two weeks to improve. God was so good, and immediately he started to improve. We had an extra 8 months with my father.
When he awoke, he was so happy to be alive. He was still on machines, and wasn't able to go home for a few months; but that Christmas 2013, I was able to spend quality time with my pops. He let me know how grateful he was to be alive and spend that time with all of us.
During his last 8 months with us, his mom (my dear Mammaw) went into hospice care and passed away. He was never able to see her again after his accident, as they were both too weak to visit one another, but he was able to talk to her.
I was there with my dad as he was going through what it was like to become an orphan, not realizing that just 3 months later I would be doing the same.
In January 2014, my father had to go back to the hospital due to an internal tear, and he became weaker again. He knew what his wife had tried to do last time, so he made sure she knew that he wanted to stay on the machines. He even let her know that he wanted to go out of state, to stay on the machines longer.
On February 3rd, when my siblings and I were not at the hospital (I was still in Los Angeles because I was told it wasn't going to be that serious), his wife went in and had the doctor turn off the machines. Only after he passed away did she notify anyone. We were never able to say goodbye.
So now I have become what is called an "adult orphan," and it has been a very hard journey. My siblings and I are the oldest generation now, which feels like a huge responsibility when you're in your 20s.
But when my father passed away he knew my husband, he knew the city I chose to build a life, he knew my new career path, he was able to see me in my life as an adult.... all things my mom never got to see. I am so grateful for the little things because I do, and always will, miss them both terribly.
This October Jayson and I are reaching our 5th anniversary, November brings my 30th birthday, and December will hold the first Christmas that I don't have a Kendel-parental home to visit. We know that it will be tough on me, so we decided this Christmas we will be in London.
I am so grateful to have the gift of going to a city that not only is a place I absolutely love, but is a place that is home to so many loves that my dad and I shared: Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, and so much history.
To focus on the positives of this season I am going through, and to continually be thankful for all that both my parents have brought to my life, I am going to try to do a proper countdown here. I want to share how we are planning, what we are doing, and the little joys we experience along the way.
Christmas in London Countdown begins now.