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- Chris Fabry
- Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.
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Saturday, August 3, 2013
10:22 PM | Posted by Chris Fabry | | Edit Post
I made it home late the night before he died and through the early morning hours my brother and sister in law tended to my father as I slept on the couch outside of his bedroom. This was an act of love on their part, to help my father die in the home he had built, where he wanted to be, where my mother wanted him to be. They had been there through the transitions and would be here for this last one.
Early the next morning my brother awakened me and said it was time. When I made it to my father's bed he had stopped breathing. My mother came and sat beside me, closest to him and patted his hand. Then she looked at his chest and back at us and realized what was true. What she had feared and longed for.
I expected to hear the weeping and keening of my mother. We comforted her and sat with her and we talked about him. I tried to tell her she had done a good job taking care of him, that she had loved him well, but the words were hard to get out.
The hospice nurse arrived and he kindly walked us through the next steps. We destroyed the medication my father had been given and we waited on the hearse from the funeral home.
The saddest sound was not our crying. That was strangely comforting. We were sharing in this passage, remembering, celebrating, and trying to honor a good man who had lived well and loved well.
The saddest sound was not the wheels of the gurney down that long, narrow hallway, or the moment when my mother stopped them for one last kiss.
I don't know, maybe that was the saddest sound. Just thinking about it sends me over the edge.
But, perhaps, the saddest sound came as we were at his bedside, wondering what to do next. What do you say to a woman whose dearest friend is no longer with us, or to his children? What do you say to yourself when the only father you've ever known is still and lifeless? What do you do?
My brother walked to the end of the bed or into the other room, I can't remember which, and I wondered what he was doing. Could he not bear the sorrow? Did he need to be alone?
He walked over and turned off the machine supplying oxygen to my father. Just a flick of a switch and the whir of the machine silenced. It's something my father would have done. When there's a motor running that isn't needed, you turn it off.
That was the saddest sound to me. The final realization that yes, this is the end. This is goodbye. The room grew quiet. Uncomfortably so. My mother blew her nose. I leaned back in the creaky chair. And then, outside, somewhere near the hillside he loved, where he drove his tractor and walked and whistled at the cows, the birds began their singing. Actually, they had been there all along, we just couldn't hear them because of the motor.
My father was finally free of pain, free of the need for oxygen, free from taxes and politics and the groundhogs in his garden. I like to think of him somewhere on the back 40 of heaven, cutting a field of hay for God. On a new Massey Ferguson that never needs a tune-up. Feeding hay to lions and lambs and swapping stories with Moses and my Uncle Pooch. Returning from whatever chore he's been given with a grin and two lungs full of air that feel like the breath of heaven, because it is.
He's in a place where they don't need oxygen machines. And where you don't have to turn off the lights. Because the Light is always there.