My Dad: Hours or Days, not Weeks

by Steve Ray on August 10, 2012

Love after all these years. Almost married 73 years. Eating only a few bites a day. Can't last long that way.

Dad is out of the hospital and back home. He is now officially in hospice with extreme efforts removed and all the family around him and my mom. My kids are with him 24-hours a day. As soon as my talks are done here in Anacortes Washington Janet and I are rushing home Sunday.

For those praying his name is Charles Robert Ray. My mom is Frances Ray.

The doctor said to give him food and water as he is able to receive them, but we are all aware he is slipping fast. Our job is now to keep him comfortable and loved until the angels take him home. Dad is ready to go. (It is far easier for me to write about this than to talk about it.)

Two of my daughters praying over grandpa. What great kids I have. They have dearly loved their grandpa.

I have no regrets. I’ve loved him and been a son who honors his father and dad has done nothing but loved us and been a fantastic example of a father, a provider and a Christian.

I remember that Ford Motor Company regularly offered my dad promotions. He always asked, “Will I need to work more hours?” They replied, “Of course.” My dad responded, “I am sorry to decline but I have three boys at home and they need me more than Ford Motor Company does.”

My son Jesse spending the night to care for my dad and his grandfather

He spent his evenings reading us stories. After we went to bed he recorded stories on a reel-to-reel tape recorder for us to listen to while he was at work. Weekends were for the boys, me and my brothers, to help us ride the pony, to work in the garden, to read us stories, to BE with us. I knew this day would arrive and I will grieve when he is gone. I believe in the resurrection and eternal life with every fiber of my being, but that won’t stop me from missing the man who was always my best friend, the man who brought  me into existence and taught me to be a man.

My dad reading me stories in better times

The loving arms of the Catholic Church are so uniting and reassuring at the end of life. I wish my dad and family could be experiencing that right now but unhappily it isn’t the case. But my dad loved nothing more in his life than Jesus Christ and I am confident of his destination.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary & Mark Purtle August 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Steve and family,
We are preparing to talk to some of our parishioner friends, at their request, about our trip with you to the Holy Land in May. We were so sorry to come to your website and learn that your father is dying. I remember the emotion in your voice, when you told the story about your Dad saying “I have three boys at home and they need me more than Ford Motor Company.” We will remember your father in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Mary & Mark Purtle

Sr. Dorcee Clarey August 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

We’re praying for all of you . . .

Sylvia E Martinez August 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Dearest Steve and Family,
May God Bless Each Of YOU With HIS Comfort & Peace Which Transcends ALL Understanding <3 Lifting Your Wonderful DAD In Prayer To JESUS, His Holy Mother Mary, St Joseph & All The Saints In Heaven <3
Sincerely, Your Sister In JESUS <3
Sylvia E Martinez
Schererville, IN

Desert Rat August 10, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Our family’s prayers join yours. May the peace of Christ be with you.
The Daniels

Kathy August 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Your family makes me so happy. Of course we’ll be praying with you; your dad will be Catholic very soon. =)

Kathy Gantt August 11, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Steve and Janet, thanks for sharing such a personal moment in your life with us. This is indeed the body of Christ, Church Militant here on earth. We will continue to lift you and your dad up in prayer as he transitions to the home of the Church Triumphant… what a beautiful experience to pray with you and for you during these times….. God Bless you all… May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding comfort you in the hours and days to come. Kathy

Pattymelt August 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Your dad and your family are in my prayers. God bless you now and in the days to come.

Sabina Karwan August 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Do not let your heart be troubled, Steve. Saint Joseph is taking care of everything. Love to you and Janet and all of your beautiful family.

Suzie Peredo (Guam) August 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM

I was moved to see a post on FB of you asking for prayers and of your father’s failing health. Please know that I am praying for all of you, that God grants your father a peaceful death and welcomes him into His eternal kingdom and also that he sustain you and your family in this event. Courage! God is with you.

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