Tough Decisions


We think we make them all the time. But really, most of the decisions we make daily are simple even though we like to make them seem complicated.

However, one day, we are forced to make a tough decision. For me that day is today, well most likely tomorrow. It’s the day we will make a decision on the next course of action for my father.

Do we go against his wishes and allow the tracheotomy or accept the inevitable, remove the tube, and let him go in peace? I’ve made my decision, have even made peace with my decision.

It seems so easy to type as I fly across three states in a desperate rush to get to the hospital. To look into those eyes which are so much like mine and ask him if he is sure he no longer wishes to fight. My head knows the answer.

Cold-hearted, clinical bitch that I am knows it is the best answer. Remove the tube breathing for him, let the doctors give him medicine to make him comfortable then let nature take its course. My head knows it’s right because he is not a man who wants to go out with the indignity of a slow death.

Now I just need someone to tell my heart. My heart that is breaking into a million tiny pieces because he’s my daddy. The man who taught me I could be anything I want to be. He taught me to shoot a gun, ride a horse and a motorcycle. Cheered at ever sporting event I ever participated in. Loved me even when I wasn’t always lovable. He’s half of my DNA and all of my heart.

I’m not ready to tell him goodbye but I love him enough to let him go with dignity and grace. In my seat, on this tiny plane, surrounded by strangers, I have allowed myself to cry for the first time since this started. I have 45 minutes to get it all out. Because when I step off this plane, the responsibility for his life will land, once more, squarely on my shoulders.

There is a wife, a sister, and a grandmother waiting but I know none of them will ultimately make this decision. They will want to make the decision but they won’t want the responsibility. That will fall to me.

I will talk to the doctors, ask my pointed questions, listen to what they have to say, and finally look into those eyes. I know what I will see there. I know the fear will match my own. But I also know the decision will be in his eyes, a painful, poignant longing for release. In those eyes, I will find the peace my heart needs.

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